Bloombergville’s Larry Hales talks about what’s next
Published Jun 29, 2011 4:27 PM
WW photo: John Catalinotto
Larry Hales, a leading Bloombergville activist, founder of the CUNY
Mobilization Network and a New Yorkers Against the Budget Cuts leader, spoke
with Workers World writer Dee Knight about the struggle experiences in
different countries and looked to the future:
The struggle in the U.S. has not reached the pitch of what we have seen around
the world in response to a neoliberal agenda that is now being imposed even in
the imperialist nations. The mass response in Wisconsin was the high-water mark
here so far, and had not been seen in many years. Despite the size and
militancy of the struggle there — which included the occupation of the
state Capitol — Gov. Scott Walker’s bill seeking to dismantle
public sector unions passed.
Instead of opening up a struggle at the workplace or in the streets, the union
leadership has been using the courts to fight Walker. Walker’s attack
requires the unions in Wisconsin and nationally to mobilize all their forces.
This is becoming increasingly important, as from Ohio to Michigan to New
Jersey, both Democrats and Republicans are attacking public sector unions on
behalf of the banks and the ruling class.
These attacks, which include massive cuts of social services and
privatizations, reflect the current period. It can be seen even in Europe,
especially Greece, that the capitalist governments, doing the bidding of the
ruling class, are hell-bent on their program, which is similar to structural
adjustments forced on Third World nations by the IMF and World Bank decades
Greece has seen numerous general strikes and large-scale actions by the working
class in the millions, yet the austerity being forced on Greece by European
banking interests continues and has intensified.
The struggle in the U.S. has waned a bit since workers and students in
Wisconsin inspired the working class here. It was clear before then, and even
more so now, that protests alone, whether they be the normal rally, assembly
and march or something more creative, have an end time and are not enough.
“A mass movement is needed: one that understands that these attacks are
aimed at permanently destroying public sector unions and vital social services,
one that unites all sectors of the working class and uses many tactics with the
goal of pushing back this assault.
“Such a struggle also needs demands that put it on the offensive. It can
call for a massive jobs program; an end to imperialist war; abolishing the
Pentagon; education, housing and healthcare for all — a progressive
program that is in solidarity with oppressed people here and abroad.”
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE