Labour Must Fight for Total Social Transformation
ONGOING SUCCESSFUL STRIKE:
Labour Must Fight for Total Social Transformation
The resounding success of the ongoing general strike and mass protest against hike in fuel prices, hike in VAT, etc, show just how little support the new government has. Despite the very small size of the May 28 and 29 protests Yar’Adua’s administration has no legitimacy. Its so-called election victory was really a well planned out fraud starting last year with the Voters’ Register that continued up to April’s so-called elections and counting of votes.
So far, the strike has been very solid. But this is not a guarantee of victory. Between 2000 and 2005 there were seven general strikes or mass protests that, while being fully supported, did not lead to the working masses’ demands being met and where they are met, the effects of the gains were short-lived.
Therefore, decisive action must be taken to secure total victory for the strike’s demands this time around.
In addition, we must avoid a repetition of a situation where a small group of labour leaders will end the struggle in return for nothing or for small concessions that will be undermined almost immediately.
Therefore, the working people themselves need to be in control of their struggle at all times. Activists in workplaces and communities must take immediate steps to hold assemblies that can democratically form Action Committees, based upon delegates from workplaces and communities, that should discuss both the development of the struggle and what steps need to be taken locally and nationally.
These Action Committees need to link up regionally and nationally. The DSM believes that the decision about the strike cannot be left in the hands of a few national leaders. Within the trade unions, local branches should be meeting to discuss what is happening, and nationally decisions should be taken by the most representative body that can meet. Immediately, in the next few days, decisions on the strike’s progress should be democratically made by LASCO, but Action Committees need to become the bodies that run the strike.
The longer the strike continues the more urgent it is that steps are taken to ensure that basic essential supplies, especially food, water and fuel, are available, at reasonable prices to the masses. Immediate measures have to be taken to ensure supplies are fairly distributed. Action Committees, in co-ordination with other popular bodies, must co-ordinate this. Steps must be taken to prevent profiteering.
Steps must be taken to appeal to the ranks of the police and armed forces to support this struggle as they themselves are effected by the price rises and their own pay should also rise.
LABOUR’S POTENTIAL POWER
This strike has once again shown the tremendous power of working people once they decide to act. Labour has the strength to stop Nigeria, and it is time that Labour chases away the looters and thieves like Yar’Adua and all the corrupt PDP, ANPP, AC leaders and starts to run the country in interests of working people and the poor.
This means replacing this unrepresentative government of looters and thieves by a Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) made up of elected representatives of workers, technocrats, poor peasants and youths to form government at national and state levels. Immediate steps must be taken to establish workers’ and popular control from below over Nigeria’s resources to stop looting and ensure they are used in the masses’ interests.
Such a government could take immediate action against the looters and start to improve the masses’ living standards in both urban and rural areas.
For us in the DSM, this proposal is democratic. The workers, technocrats, poor peasants and youth formations are there already and Action Committees can involve wider numbers of working people. These bodies should elect among themselves those who will provisionally run the affairs of the country. Such bodies should organize truly democratic elections to a national body, i.e. a national meeting of the Action Committees or a Sovereign National Conference, dominated by the ordinary working masses in all fields of life that would confirm the assumption of power by a workers’ and poor peasants’ government.
If this does not happen Nigeria faces a further decline into greater poverty and brutality.
IMPERATIVE OF SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION
As always, the DSM is fully committed to the total realisation of all the goals of the current struggle. Our members have been involved in the preparation and organisation of the current struggle up till this moment. However, we will continue to drive home the point that unless the current self-serving, unjust capitalist system is replaced with a workers and poor peasants government, where the commanding heights of the economy including banks and financial institutions are commonly owned and democratically run by the working people themselves primarily for the purpose of meeting the economic and political needs of the working masses and the poor in general, any gain(s) made from the current struggle will sooner than later be claimed back by the greedy capitalist ruling elite ten fold.