Statement - SIPTU demonstration against the cuts
1 September 2009
SIPTU has called a demonstration of community workers on 8th September in Dublin to oppose cutbacks in the community sector being proposed by An Board Snip Nua. It has called on these workers to support their own campaign and to lobby politicians in order to get them to change their minds. Socialist Democracy has made the following statement to the workers supporting this demonstration.
We won't pay for the bankers!
A massive propaganda campaign is currently underway to make working people pay for a social crisis caused by bankers, developers and politicians and the economic system they all support. These people are being bailed out while massive cuts are being made in much needed public services. A giant rip-off under NAMA is being organised in which we pay to save banks and their developer customers. The poor are to massively bail out the rich in a process that will last for years. The cuts to allow all this to happen will cause untold hardship and deprivation and will devastate many lives.
An Bord Snip Nua has set out cuts of €5.3 billion which target working people everywhere. Public sector jobs and conditions and private sector workers who use public services will all suffer yet there is a concerted campaign to set private and public sector workers against each other. Bailing out the banks in NAMA may easily cost €30 billion. Imagine the cuts in services and wages we will be asked to pay for this. These cuts are so vast they will affect every single worker. That is why we must all unite to fight them.
It is not enough to have a community campaign against cuts or an education campaign against cuts or a separate health campaign. We need to unite all workers against all the cuts. Only by fighting together have we any hope of winning.
SIPTU have called for us to protest and asked us to lobby our politicians. But we don't want simply to protest at our treatment; we want to stop these cuts. Neither will appealing to those who are attacking us to change their minds get us anywhere. These people know what they are doing and we want them out.
Most of all we should make it clear that we did not create this economic mess and we will not pay for it – any of it. Those who gambled on the banks and those who gambled on the property deals must be made to pay.
Yet SIPTU leaders and ICTU have already accepted that we should pay. They call it paying a "fair share" and say it is a question of "social solidarity". Yet since we didn't create any of this mess a fair share would mean paying nothing. Those who did create the mess should pay for it - all of it. We should have solidarity, but not with the Government and not with the bankers. We should have workers solidarity with each other, one campaign involving all workers against all the cuts and against us paying to bail out the banks through NAMA. There can be no social partnership with an employer class which has created this disaster or a Government that is trying to shift paying for it on to us.
Many workers are against the cuts, against bailing out the bankers and speculators and against the Government. They want to fight back but don't know how we can be successful without an alternative.
These workers are right. Without an alternative we cannot win. But there is an alternative that means we don't bail out the banks, don't accept any cuts and don't rely on corrupt politicians to change their minds. This is a socialist alternative that means we expropriate the banks, take them over under our control, take over the assets of the developers who won't pay their debts, write off the rest of the losses and create a new bank that will fund real economic development instead of a property boom.
This means we need a workers campaign that says we won't pay and that has a real alternative. Socialist Democracy is dedicated to building such a campaign and we urge you to support us.