From Algiers to Santiago, From Port-au-Prince to Hong Kong, and from Bayreuth to Panama, from one continent to another, people are rising. The rebellion is deep-rooted, millions of demonstrators are highly determined. And the mobilisations persist, despite police and military repression. What’s at stake is critical: the fall of governments in power, including those of so-called democracies that impose dictatorship powers onto the poor. This could echo here in France, where the same angers and hopes have been brewing.
Each time one event triggered the revolt. In Lebanon, it was new taxes including an 18-cent tax on WhatsApp calls. In Chile, it was the increase in metro ticket price by 30 pesos (4 cents). In Haiti, Ecuador and Lebanon, shortages and increases in gas price broke the camel’s back.
The same causes everywhere
But these movements go much further than the triggers. They condemn a world and governments harder and harder on the poorest and most exploited. In Lebanon, people have protested for many years against electricity blackouts and the garbage removal crisis. In Iraq, since 2015, during the civil war people were already marching to demand public services. In Chile, healthcare and education are prohibitively expensive.
Inequalities have become unbearable. In Chile, the most unequal OCDE (so-called “developed”) country, five families own 25% of the country’s wealth. Just like the 26 richest billionaires who own as much wealth as half of the world population.
Chile’s president Pinera is one of the billionaires who made his fortune during Pinochet’s dictatorship. In Algeria they accuse the aïssaba (the gang), in Lebanon they denounce the harami (the thiefs) at the head of the State.
In all these places, the demonstrators exhibit a high level of political awareness: in Lebanon and Iraq they denounce the confessional system whereby the people must follow the public figures of each religious community. In Algeria, during the massive demonstration on November 1st, people demanded “a new independence” since the first one was seized by the gangs in power. In Chile, demonstrators chanted “it’s not about the 30 pesos, it’s about the 30 years,” opposing the 30 years of anti-worker policy that continued after the end of Pinochet’s military regime.
Workers of the world, unite!
Using the power in numbers they have when they are organised, workers can have a strong influence in these burgeoning revolutions. In Chile, the uprising has reached another level after the general strike and the mass demonstrations: the government has a hard time facing millions of workers who side with the rebelling youths.
In France, we are not millions in the streets, yet. But the yellow jackets movement also started from a spark (gas prices) and then called into question the decreasing standard of living of the people, the rising inequalities, and has criticised the arrogant elite in power who defends the interests of the bourgeoisie.
The government has kept on its anti-worker policy, with pension reform and the latest provocation: decreasing unemployment benefits. But there was a surprise mass strike in the Paris metro. Then the recent strikes in the National Railways, like the long-standing movement in hospitals, show that the seeds of anger could spread to all workers over the country.
Many union confederations, as well as the yellow jackets, call for a day of strike on December 5th. Let’s make this day the start of a global response against the government, a new episode of the class struggle.
All together on December 5th. Let’s all follow the lead of rebels all over the world and be on strike and in the streets!