Photo L’Activiste

In recent weeks, massive protests unfolded in Québec against austerity measures imposed by the Couillard Government. Thirty thousand people took part in the October 31st demonstration organized by a coalition of local trade unions, student associations and community groups. A few days later, there were tens of thousands rallying in 12 cities against rate increases for child care. At the time of going to press, 100,000 people, and perhaps a little more, were expected in the streets of Montréal and Québec City on November 29 at demos organized by the provincial trade unions. All this, as calls are spreading for “disturbing days of action,” a general strike on May 1st 2015, and “a spring of struggle and resistance!”

In itself, the multiplication of these initiatives is an excellent thing, but we should not forget that the various attacks waged by the Couillard government are not an unhappy “slip”: they are part of a much broader context, throughout Canada and elsewhere.

Austerity is not so much the result of some “ideological decisions” imposed by the Liberals in Québec or Harper’s Conservatives in Ottawa (like the sacking of unemployment insurance and of environmental regulation, the abolition of mail delivery at home and of thousands of jobs in public service, etc.), but a policy dictated by the need to boost the capitalists’ benefits. The capitalists will not hesitate to implement whatever measures are necessary in order to launch a new period of capital accumulation.

As stated in the main document from the 3rd Canadian Revolutionary Congress held last May in Vancouver:

“The capitalism of the future, much like that of the past, will produce nothing other than wealth for a minority and poverty for the majority. ‘Flexibility,’ ‘productivity,’ and ‘tackling the deficit’: these are the expressions of bourgeois policies that conceal a far more revealing reality. The capitalist world of tomorrow will be a combination of intensified exploitation, increasing unemployment, relocations and displacements, austerity measures, and more repression for the proletariat and masses. Altogether, these ‘policies’ constitute the general battle plan of the bourgeoisie and are facets of bourgeois politics currently at work. This is why it is not incorrect to consider their call for austerity measures as the rallying cry of the bourgeoisie to safeguard an exploitative system that has hitherto served them well. However, if austerity measures serve as the rallying cry for the forces of the bourgeoisie, they are simultaneously a battle cry against the proletariat and popular masses.”

Therefore, if the bourgeoisie has its battle plan, we must also have ours. We know very well what we are fighting against: attacks on social programs and services, on our wages and pensions, and the increased repression that accompanies them. We should also know who we are fighting against: the right-wing governments such as Harper and Couillard certainly but, more importantly, the entire capitalist class that actually wields power—the profiteers who pull the strings in this system in which we live and who are desperately fighting to make us bear the burden of their crisis.

Austerity is the current program of the bourgeoisie in their struggle against us workers, that is a class struggle. In response, we need to organize and fight back as a single class: in solidarity, all together against the capitalists, their state and their running dogs!

Down with austerity! Long live our resistance! Build workers’ and people’s unity against the bourgeoisie and its state!

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