STATEMENT ON ZCTU ARRESTS

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The following is reprinted from our comrades of the Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (RWG-ZIM):

HANDS OFF WORKERS!

DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST!

FOR WORKERS’ ORGANISED SELF- DEFENCE!

FOR A GENERAL STRIKE NOW!

The Zimbabwean police on Thursday assaulted and arrested more than 35 trade union leaders, activists and workers across the country allegedly for holding an illegal demonstration centrally against a 2% tax on electronic transfers. As we write there are reports that trade union leaders and activists are being hunted down by the police. We salute the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and all formations of the poor masses for taking this action against the regime that has declared war on the poor masses.

The government banned the demonstrations ostensibly because of fears of the spread of cholera despite holding a graduation ceremony at the University of Zimbabwe. The real reason is the fear that the demonstration could embolden the masses to fight against the austerity measures targeting the working and poor masses. The monetary and fiscal policy statements announced at the start of this month have triggered a rise in the prices of basic commodities as well as shortages leading to panic buying and the soaring of the value of the US dollar against the local bond currency.

The government has declared war on the poor in order to serve its imperialist masters and loot the country. The masses are being forced to pay for the crisis of capitalist degeneration through retrenchments, slave wages and working conditions, abolishment of social services and erosion of democratic rights including the right to protest. The working class and the poor masses must organise to defend their livelihood and the right to protest before it’s too late. Workers should organise self-defence organs in order to defend themselves against the state offensive and to maintain discipline in the face of attacks. Forums should be held to mobilise and organize workers and the poor masses towards a general strike.

-Free all arrested workers, trade union leaders and activists now!
-For labour forums including all oppressed groups now to organise and mobilise for a general strike!
-Workers form strike committees to lead the resistance to the growing attacks on the wages and working conditions of the poor and the livelihood of the majority poor!
-Form workers defence guards for defence against state violence!
-A national strike committee to organise and plan for a general strike!
-Workers take back your unions!
-Militant workers to form class struggle caucuses in the unions to fight for this program!
-Against unemployment and destitution we demand a sliding scale of working hours to provide decent jobs for all through massive public works programs to provide housing, education and medical care for all!
-Organise the unorganised! Form unions of the unemployed as fully affiliated unions!
-A living Wage! Workers fight for a living wage and better working conditions through mass action controlled by ordinary workers!
-Against the ever rising prices and inflation we demand a sliding scale of wages!
-For free, comprehensive and secular education for all!
-The government must stop the attack on the vendors!
– For a workers government on the basis of the armed people to implement decisions that benefit the workers and the poor!
-Nationalisation of all companies without indemnification to the big shareholders under workers control!
-Land to be distributed to all poor peasants together with a state bank to provide inputs to all small farmers!
-A workers state that defends workers, peasants and the poor masses against the local and foreign capitalists!
-An African socialist revolution as part of the international revolution that alone can guarantee a better life for all!
-A new WORLD PARTY of socialist revolution based on the TRANSITIONAL PROGRAM of 1938 to lead the revolution to end capitalism and open the road to socialism!

Revolutionary Workers Group of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe section of the Liaison Committee of Communists)

13 October 2018
Harare Zimbabwe

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