While many candidates, whether of the majority or in opposition, are hiding their political affiliation, Lutte ouvrière is presenting lists in 240 towns and all under the same banner, that of the working class.
In every town where there’s a Lutte ouvrière list, it is representative of those who work and live there: automobile workers in Montbéliard, Valenciennes and Poissy; chemical industry workers in the Lyon area; aeronautics workers in the Toulouse area… and, all over the country, our lists are made up of rail workers, bus drivers, home helps, security and cleaning staff, nurses, care assistants, teachers, supermarket cashiers, bank and insurance employees, etc.
These candidates all know the difficulties faced by working-class people in their everyday lives, and they all share the same revolt against big business. The list they have managed to constitute are the living proof that workers don’t need bigwigs or lawyers to speak on their behalf, and that they certainly don’t need supervisors or directors to represent them.
They are neither careerists nor cronies: their interests are the general interests of the workers. They’re not touting the usual catalogue of promises that are nothing but demagoguery and lies. Their program can be summed up in a single phrase: to stand firm against the rich in all situations, together with the exploited and the poor. They make only one pledge: to take part in every fight that workers fight, whether in their workplace or in their community, to defend their rights and interests.
There are so many things to be done at village and town level to make sure that the interests of the richest – real estate promoters, property owners, banks and corporations – do not take precedence over the interests of the workers and the poorest people.
Local associations and collectives are already engaged in such struggles against: evictions and poor housing, the deportation of undocumented immigrants, the closure of post offices or school classes, harassment by the police and their ethnically-profiled identity checks, overcharging for water, landlords who refuse to repair elevators, etc.
Nothing just falls into workers’ laps. The only thing they can expect from big business or government is more blows. And municipal elections won’t offer them any protection. Not all municipalities are sellouts to the rich. But they’re caught in a financial vice that keeps getting tighter because the State can’t simultaneously hand out billions of euros to the bourgeoise and find money to give to communities, hospitals and education.
At the very moment when the crisis is creating greater needs, all a mayor can do is spread the misery out. As a consequence, workers are having to “do it themselves”, like the mothers on working-class housing estates who work together to ensure that their children don’t get caught up in gang wars or drug dealerships. And they’re a lot more efficient at stopping drugs from circulating and getting rid of dealers than the heavily armed cowboys that the State sends in!
An LO municipality would encourage and take part in this kind of initiative. It would be the driving force behind other struggles to obtain money needed for health, employment, housing, culture… It would push workers to make the government accountable and force big business to pay – for the the economic, social, humanitarian and ecological catastrophe that we’re sinking in is due to big business, 100%.
No town can be an island paradise in a sea of unemployment and increasing poverty, particularly not during this crisis where the greed of the bourgeoisie is unbridled. Workers must be conscious that their struggle is about changing society – no less.
By voting for the “Lutte ouvrière: let the workers’ voice be heard” lists, you can proclaim that workers must no longer trust politicians whose only aim is to spoon-feed the bourgeoisie. You can defend the idea that the working class has to come together and defend its own interests as opposed to those of big business. You can show your true color, the red of workers who hold their head high, the red of strikes, revolts and revolutions because that’s what we need to stop the madness and barbarity of capitalist society!