Demonstration against Social Cuts
Interview with Mischa Aschmoneit
[This interview originally published in: junge Welt, January 29, 2004 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.jungeWelt.de/2004/01-29/019.php.]
Q: A demonstration against social robbery is called for January 31 in Dusseldorf. Who calls this demo?
The demonstration is planned by students, anti-fascist groups and unions. More than 120 organizations and persons urge the participation of everyone.
Q: Do union organizations support the demonstration?
"Our Agenda is Resistance" is the motto of the demo. The mobilization is supported by union members and officials.
Q: A "leftist union" calls to the demo. What is a "leftist union"?
That unionists call to a demonstration proposed by the student and radical-left spectrum is not self-evident in the history of Germany. Our call supported by over 60 people joins the interests of our (still) employed colleagues with the interests of the unemployed, students, parents, and children. We counter the policy of social dismantling and the resigned attitude of many stricken with concrete orientations: struggle for the 30-hour week without wage cuts or personnel cuts, defense of collective bargaining and struggle for cancellation of tax relief for big business. The struggle to retain unemployment benefits without calculating the savings and income of the life partner, the struggle against co-payments in medical care and for the abolition of student accounts and fees are concrete struggles. Student financial assistance schemes should be introduced.
Q: What is happening now in social policy in Dusseldorf?
In Dusseldorf the consequences of the "Red-Green" social dismantling on the national plane combine with the communal policy of the CDU and the FDP. While the city pumps millions in building an absurdly large arena, jobs in the social area are cut and urban training is not undertaken.
Q: How should the struggle against social cuts be continued after the demonstration?
Whether unions are changed into combative organizations will be important. The Europe-wide day of action on April 3 is not far away. The strike theme will also be greatly discussed. Our worst enemy is lethargy, the attitude "Nothing can be changed any more". The left must show that being in solidarity and struggling together is rewarding. More people will be encouraged and join if we are successful somewhere. We must develop actions that build pressure as for example the strike.