It was a General Strike on March 29 in Spain, and further mobilizations are initiated from May 29th to June 15th.
The CNT-AIT has through the International Secretary made a new call of support to the mobilizations. There will during these days be rallies, demonstrations, workshops, consumer strikes, days of action and all kinds of action. The purpose is to be heading toward another General Strike and the target is to revert back all the brutal cuts suffered, revert back the Labor Reform and get back all the rights.
The IWA- Plenary in Warsaw on October 28, 29 and 30 decided that the IWA should have an External Bulletin. Prior to that, various Congresses had treated the issue with the same wish. You are now reading the first issue. The editor responsible is the IWA - Secretariat, but it is made by excellent compilation of the IS of the ZSP.
It shows the activities and actions of the IWA this last winter and this spring during the serious and hard times we are living in of today`s Capitalism.
This year’s May Day has special significance as it marks the 125 Anniversary of the murder of the Haymarket Martyrs by the government of the United States in 1887. In 1886 an international campaign was launched in support of the 8 hour day. As part of that campaign a strike was called in Chicago on May 1st 1886. On May 4th during a demonstration called in support of the strike, a provocateur bomb exploded. The state sought to blame the anarchist who had been at the forefront of the campaign.
In support of the IWA Days of action in the UK, the Solidarity Federation called for campaign of direct action against workfare. The idea was to use the IWA 3 Days of action to launch a concerted campaign to put an end to unpaid work. This is in support of the ongoing Boycot Workfare campaign, that is being organised in conjunction with numerous other groups and organisations.
At a time of unprecedented youth unemployment in the UK , which now stands at over 22%, the government is subsidising businesses by sending the unemployed to work for them without pay and with the new Youth Contract it intends to expand these schemes even further.
The decision on which company to target was left to just before the Days of action to ensure that the company chosen were not alerted to the planned demos and pickets. After discussion within the Solidarity Federation it was decided to target the company Holland and Barratt a major high street chain of shops selling health products. The SolFed decided to target Holland and Barratt because the company intends to take over 1000 people on work experience this year and with a workforce of around 4000, unpaid workers will comprise a significant portion of their staff.
A new general strike was held in Portugal on the March 22nd, the second in four months, this time convened only by the major union CGTP. The strike had a lower adhesion than the previous one but was marked by an intensification and radicalization of protests.
The Portuguese Section of the IWA (AIT-SP) has marked its presence in Lisbon and Porto, before and during the strike, with a campaign for workers’ self-organization and direct action and participating in the demonstrations that took place in both cities.
When the government announced the day that they would discuss raising the retirement age, unions big and small decided to protest. A tent city was set up at the Parliament. There we raised a banner saying that „The strike is our best weapon” and gave out radical leaflets, including information about the general strike in Spain. We spoke for a long time with the rank and file members of mainstream unions about how their unions do not support the idea of general strikes and many of them agree that decisive action is necessary in situations like this, where the government is raising the retirement age to 67. Many sent greatings to comrades on Spain who were on strike and said that it should be that way in Poland.
After that we went to the Spanish Embassy for a picket against the labour reform. During the picket, we also spoke to some employees of the embassy that supported the strike.
On March 31, a rally-picket was held in Moscow as part of global protest days against anti-social policies and austerity measures at the call of the International Workers Association (IWA). The action was organized by the section of the IWA in Russia (KRAS-IWA).
It was attended by a total of about 40 people: representatives of various social organizations (KRAS-IWA, Autonomous Action, Committee of 19 January, trade union "Teacher", civil initiatives, etc.). The rally was held on the square “Krasnopresnenskaya zastava” with the monument to the heroes of the revolution of 1905-1907. Dozens of passing people stopped to listen to the speakers. The newspaper "Direct action" of the Russian section of IWA was distributed. The action covered by the public television network (SOTV.RF).