Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Guinea General Strike

Guinea General Strike

A Revolutionary Working People Party is Imperative

By Dagga Tolar

The working masses of Guinea (Conakry) have gone back to the street after suspending the last general and mass protest that lasted 18 days, and the third one in a year. They are demanding the resignation of President Lansana Conte and rejecting his appointed prime minister, Eugene Camara.

Lansana Conte, who is ailing and has been in government for the past 23 years, has declared the state of emergency and unleashed the military to decisively with the situation. About 130 protesters have been killed while over 300 arrested and detained at various military camps.

Guinea is the largest producer of bauxite in the world. But corruption and neo-liberal economy reforms of the Conte government have meant lack of basic needs for workers and poor masses in the country.

Conte whose hated government is adjudged the most corrupt in Africa has relied on the military to sustain himself in power. He pays the top military officials fat salaries and shares them along with his lackeys out of the looted resources of the country at the expense of well-being of workers and poor masses.

The unions, the National Confederation of Guinea Workers (CNTG) and the Guinean Workers Union (USTG) have done well by seizing the initiative for the commencement of the general strikes in November 2005. The ongoing mass action of workers and masses led by the trade unions has shown the existence of a clear pre revolutionary situation in Guinea. But the fundamental missing link in this heroic struggle is the absence of a revolutionary working people party that would have transformed the agitation of the working people to a process of wresting political power not only from Conte but also the entire capitalist thieving ruling.

The current demand of struggle which only seek to remove Conte is myopic. The history of mass movements internationally has taught that without revolutionary party representing political alternative, if this struggle successfully ousts Conte he will be definitely replaced by his clone or another set of parasitic ruling elite.

The immediate task for workers and poor masses of Guinea is the formation of revolutionary party. The unions should call for the support and alliance of other poor strata of the societies, the poor farmers, the rank-and-file of the soldiers and police, the urban poor, youth and students to begin the process of overthrowing the oppressive, capitalist government and replacing with genuine socialist order.