Long live the revolt of the proletarian youth!
In Tunisia and Algeria, reduced to poverty and unemployment, proletarian youth revolt. The police intervene; shooting to kill. The bourgeoisie responds to the revolt with a massacre!
(«Proletarian»; Nr. 7; Summer 2011)
Tunisia, too, has suffered from the economic crisis of recent years. And it is on the backs of the proletarian masses, as in all countries, developed or not, that the consequences fall. Statistics show that Tunisia is the country with the highest per capita income in Africa, but while they also state that unemployment is officially 14% (for a population of 10 million inhabitants), it is actually closer to 30%, besides vast underemployment, which particularly affects young people. The regime is supported by European imperialism, because with its pervasive repression it offers them a source of labor which is cheap and tightly controlled by police. The recent rise in consumer prices is the background which triggered violent protests from cities in the south which have spread throughout the country and to the capital, Tunis.
On December 17, in the town of Sidi Bouzid, because he did not have a licence, police confiscated the cart of a young 26-year computer science graduate who had not succeeded in finding a position and who was forced to work as a street vendor to survive. Despair at the loss of his only means of living and support to his family, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of the local government buildings – finally expiring only on Jan 5. Hundreds of outraged people took to the streets and fought the cops with stones and Molotov cocktails. The police responded by firing live ammunition at the demonstrators!
Three weeks after the protests began there are more than 60 dead, hundreds injured, and over a hundred arrests. The government of President Zine Ben Ali, firmly installed in power with his camarilla for 23 years adds bestial repression to the endemic poverty, unemployment, and hunger. It is only after weeks of repression – not only ignored by Tunisian propaganda organs, but also by the European media – that Ben Ali has sacked the interior minister, released some of the jailed and promised the creation of 300,000 jobs. But this is just a maneuver to calm the growing anger and no one believes these promises, the protests continue, as does the bloody repression and the advancing revolt has spread to Tunis, the capital.
Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine, Thala Regueb, Feriana, Menassa, Ariana, Mezl Bouzayane, etc..: These are not tourist places where European tourists will spend a cheap holiday; they are the cities where the Tunisian police commit multiple murders to defend the rapacious and corrupt power of Ben Ali!
The proletarian protest, a new “revolt of bread”, has not ended and has crossed the border to engulf Tunisia, the richest country in the Maghreb through its oil and gas. As in most cities in Tunisia; Algeria – including Algiers has been the scene of violent protests of young proletarians as a result of sharp increases in the prices of essential commodities, while unemployment is rapidly increasing. Again the youth have rebelled against a society that, despite the huge inflows of money obtained by the export of oil products, gives them no prospects, against a society that does not guarantee even the survival of its wage slaves!
The police firing on the workers – protesting, sometimes violently, against the economic and physical abuse to which they are constantly subjected – is the clearest expression of the class domination of the bourgeoisie over the whole society and the proletariat in particular. It also demonstrates that in this bourgeois society where capitalism dictates the conditions of life and death of masses, the only social force that has the power to stand up to this lethal force and finally destroy it, is the proletarian class .
The silence with which the media of the great “advanced” and “democratic” countries of Europe and America have tried to hide the violence and repression which these regimes use to rule their country, is the sign of the fear of contagion – even in European countries where proletarian populations of immigrant origin may serve to channel the transmission of revolt. Is it coincidence that Alliot-Marie, French Minister of Interior, has publicly proposed to his counterparts in Algeria and Tunisia that they make use of French “savoir-faire” in law enforcement?
The brutality of the repression, the national media censorship and the complicity of the trade union organizations sold-out to bourgeois power show that the authorities’ calls for “dialogue” are a sinister farce. Above all, they show that it is only by force that one can respond to force, that only by organizing the might of the proletariat that we can respond to the organization of bourgeois force.
Today in Tunisia and Algeria the most reactionary currents, like the religious forces have not yet entered into action. But the workers must expect that even the leaders who boast of the defense of “secularism” as in Tunisia, will not hesitate to use religious reaction, if the guns of the police are insufficient to save the bourgeois order, and they will use all the democratic or nationalist lies – or even by recourse to the army if it looks like Ben Ali will be deposed.
The bourgeoisie always trample underfoot the “democratic rights” enshrined in its constitution, it uses all and every means available – from the most violent to the most insidiously peaceful – to bend the proletariat to the demands of its class domination, political, social and military domination is indispensable for the ever-increasing exploitation of the proletarians.
Potentially the proletarians have the strength to defeat the bourgeoisie, on the condition that they must break with the politics and the inter-class organizations of the unions and parties advocating class collaboration – even if they claim to be “workers” parties – which function for the sole purpose of preventing the proletarian struggle against capitalism. The demonstrations and riots in Tunisia and Algeria are caused by the same causes and encounter the same obstacles. An authentically class organization of proletarian defence, breaking with the imperatives of social preservation and submission to capital, would not only organize the struggle against anti-proletarian measures with class methods – to call for a strike of all categories of workers, formation of strike pickets and of workers committees to lead the struggle, the organization of defense against police repression, it would tie together the struggles of the proletarians of neighboring countries to unify the strikes, to reinforce the struggle for the defence of the conditions of life and work of the proletarians, even on the very terrain that the bourgeoisie has chosen: the terrain of open and violent confrontation.
Today it is again the turn of the proletarians of the less developed capitalist countries to show to the proletarians of the richer and therefore more oppressing countries that the road ahead is not one of peaceful protest, legalist and powerless, but that of revolt against bourgeois injustices and abuses . If the proletarians of the European countries, like Germany, Spain, France or Italy, but also those countries in America which are the main supporters of the Maghreb states, rise up like their class brothers from across the Mediterranean, they will be able to convey their experience from the major political class struggles of the past.
This is the path through which the proletarians will be able to reconquer their class might and to become once again, not a vague threat, but a real danger to the capitalist mode of exploitation that they must destroy forever throughout the whole world!
Long live the revolt of the Tunisian and Algerian proletarian youth!
Against police repression by bourgeois governments, for proletarian defense, independent of all the forces of collaborationism, whether trade union or political!
For the resumption of class struggle and proletarian international solidarity!
Down with the bourgeois fatherland, homeland of judicial murder and of the massacre of the proletariat!
For the emancipation of all proletarians from capitalism! For the communist revolution in all countries!
January 11, 2011
International Communist Party