Portugal’s anti-austerity protest this Saturday promises to be another big one after the organisers that brought as many as a million into the streets on September 15 swung behind the demonstrations and rallies planned by the CGTP trade union central.
The signatories of the manifesto ‘Fuck the troika! We want our lives!’ (see below) are asking the Portuguese to ‘forget any occasional disagreements and unite’ to create a ‘common front of resistance.’
The activists issued a call for “mass participation” in the union-organised protests this Saturday..
‘It is increasingly urgent to chart a new course. A course that finally puts people as its centre – not markets nor banks or financial interests and speculation.’
The country’s indignados, or Indignaos, want to a reversal of the ‘subjection of the government to the political games by unelected powers offering aid at fatal interest rates and tied to sacrifices that they would never dare even imagine for themselves.’
Slamming the government as unrepresentative, they described the announced withdrawal over the weekend of proposals to hike social security contributions for workers, while cutting them for employers, as ‘political manouvering’ and ‘bluff.’
The Manifesto : Fuck the Troika! We want our lives!
We must do something extraordinary. We must take the streets and the squares, the open roads, the side roads, the countryside. This silence is killing us. The noise of the mainstream media echoes in the silence, replicating that silence, weaving webs of lies that numb us and kill our desire. We must do something against submission, defeat, against the stifling of ideas, against the death of our common will. We must summon once more the voices, the arms and the legs of us all, knowing our present and our future are decided on the streets. We must win over fear, this fear that has been skilfully set and spread around us, and understand, once and for all, that we have almost nothing left to lose, and that the day will soon come when we will have lost it all, because we kept to ourselves, we felt alone, we gave up.
The plunder (loan, rescue, ransom, bail out, whatever lie they chose to make us cave in) has begun, and, with it, countless ravishing policies, whereby unemployment, precariousness, poverty and social injustice will rise dramatically, most of the state’s assets will be sold out, social welfare, education and health (with the national health system in its death throes) will be severed, cultural and public services will become obsolete – all in favour of people and companies that get rich with the speculation on a country’s default. After one more year of austerity under external surveillance, our perspectives, the hopes of the greater part of Portugal’s residents, are bleaker than ever.
The austerity imposed upon us to destroy our dignity and life does not solve our problems but only stifles democracy. Those who accept to govern us under the Troika’s Memorandum are giving up on the fundamental tools for our country’s management, giving them away to speculators and technocrats, on the basis of an economic model favouring the survival of the fittest and the strongest, just like in the jungle, neglecting our expectations as a community, our living conditions, our dignity.
Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal are hostages of Troika and its financial speculation. They have lost their sovereignty and get poorer every day, as is bound to happen to all countries submitted to austerity. Against the inevitability of this compulsion to linger and die, we must do something extraordinary.
We must build alternatives, step by step, springing from motivated populations, from the citizens of those countries – Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland – and of each and every one brought together, acting together, fighting for their lives and uniting their voices.
If they want to bend us, force us to accept unemployment, precariousness and injustice as a lifestyle, we shall answer with the power of democracy, of liberty, of motivation. The power to fight back. We want to take the decisions of the present in our hands, so that we can build a future.
This is, therefore, a call to all men and women from diverse areas of activity and political sympathies.
We appeal to everyone – individuals, groups, movements, associations, non-governmental organizations, syndicates, political structures and parties – to march together on the street on the 15th September.
They’ve divided us to oppress us. We will unite to free ourselves!