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Newsletter (in English)


In response to social cuts and worsening working conditions, 40,000 trade unionists and opponents of the government went onto the streets of Prague on September 22. Workers in the Czech Republic are rightly worried about attacks on their rights: The government plans to reduce the budget for salaries in the civil service by 10%, which means wage cuts for all workers and also layoffs. The firefighters and the police lost their patience first, but also doctors, teachers, government employees, cultural workers and even military staff joined these protests.

In the morning, thousands of trade unionists from all over the country came to Prague. The first groups met in the Letná park near the Interior Ministry. At noon, the trade unionists marched from the park to the river, past the government buildings and across the bridge to the Palach square. Over 40,000 people participated, which is double the estimate of the trade union bureaucracy. This shows that important sectors of the Czech working class want to fight back against the government.

At the beginning of the demonstration at Letná park, activists of the Revolutionary Internationalist Organization (RIO) supported the protesters. We displayed our gigantic banner with the slogan: “Give people back their jobs!” While layoffs have not yet begun on a mass scale, unemployment will increase as a one of the main effects of the government reforms. Our banner was seen by tens of thousands of trade unionists and quickly became a favorite object of photographs, including by the press. Thousands of people applauded us and appreciated our expression of solidarity.

During the demonstration, we distributed hundreds of flyers calling for a general strike if the government maintains its plans for the devastation of workers’ rights. But to implement this perspective, we cannot rely on the trade union bureaucracy, which is only interested in organizing symbolic protests against the right-wing government. We need a revolutionary organization of workers and youth, based in the schools, universities, and especially factories, in order to fight the government with class struggle.

by Roman Novotny, RIO, Prague

Photo gallery from the trade union demonstration

Video of the march around the Letná park and the big RIO banner

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