Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 December 2005

LSP/MAS mobilises against neo-fascists

LAST SATURDAY in Ghent, Belgium, over 700 people including the LSP/MAS (CWI, Belgium) and the anti-fascist youth organisation Blokbuster, marched to protest against the far-right Valaams Belang (formerly Vlaams Blok) conference being held in the city.

The VB demagogically talks about its 'worker friendly' and 'family friendly' policies. However, in its draft manifesto for the conference, it supported giving more wealth to the bosses (6 billion euros in tax reductions), while workers should worker longer and harder.

It is no coincidence the VB says the neo-liberal 'Lisbon Agenda' - which EU leaders agreed to in 2000 - should be carried out. The VB has also stated that the 'Generation Pact' (the government's measures to end early retirement schemes) does not go far enough.

The CWI in Belgium (LSP/MAS) and Blokbuster had campaigned for a demonstration against the Vlaams Belang Ghent conference. We received support from several organisations, including both the Social Democratic and Christian democrat trade union federations. During the demonstration, LSP/MAS, with several hundred, were the biggest contingent.

The national president of the social democratic metal workers' union, Herwig Jorissen was present. A week ago, Jorissen was under intense pressure, when the bosses' weekly paper - Trends - revealed how he was involved in a far-right group of street fighters when he was 17 years old. The 55-year-old Jorissen replied that he is now on the other side of the barricades. He made this point clear by going on the demonstration.

At the start of the march, there were two speeches. First, Mil Kooyman, Secretary of ABVV-Scheldeland (the regional section of the Social Democratic ABVV/FGTB federation), spoke for the trade unions. He warned that VB stands for 'Vlaams Bedrog' (Flemish Deceit) instead of defending workers' interests. He explained how the unions, therefore, had decided to support Blokbuster in its appeal for demonstrations against the VB and its policies. Kooyman was followed by Jo Coulier, a senior shop steward at the VUB University, in Brussels, and a founding member of Blokbuster, in 1991. He explained that VB is against unions and the interests of workers and their families.

Because of the appalling weather the short demonstration was ended with two speeches; Boris Van Acker spoke for Blokbuster and Bart Vandersteene spoke for LSP/MAS.

The two comrades explained how the anti-racist movement is in a new period of struggle. "14 years after the first electoral breakthrough for Vlaams Blok in the Flemish area of Belgium, we have to be optimistic in our fight against the Vlaams Belang. This party is not actively involved in the workers' movement and is being exposed more and more as defending the bosses' system.

"An active opposition against the neo-liberal policies of the Belgian government will need political representation. The VB has shown that it is not the political alternative which workers and youth need."

General strike in Italy against Berlusconi's budget

ON FRIDAY 25 November, a general strike against budget cuts paralysed Italy, with demonstrations in towns and cities countrywide. Bus, rail and tram workers struck for four hours. Air traffic controllers grounded 200 Alitalia flights. Post offices, universities and government offices closed. Hospitals covered only emergencies. Banks closed for four hours and schools for at least one hour - at the beginning or end of the day.

Clare Doyle reports

This, the sixth general strike organised by the three major trade union federations in less than five years of Berlusconi's right-wing government, was the biggest show so far of opposition to the anti-working class budget drawn up for 2006 and the government's failure to generate any economic growth.

Hostility towards the government was shown in the run-up to next April's general election. Throughout Italy, simultaneous renderings of requiems by Verdi, Mozart and Brahms were played and in the Ducal Palace, Genoa, a concert included Rossini's Thieving Magpie!

On Friday, 2 December, there will be all-out action of engineering workers organised in Fiom, a section of the Cgil trade union federation. As Italy slides further into economic and social chaos, polls show a majority in favour of the centre-left coalition replacing Berlusconi's government.

But full-blooded socialist policies are needed not a new version of the last Olive Tree government which, by introducing its own neo-liberal policies, opened the way for the present hated right-wing government.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 1 December 2005:

Attack on pensions: We won't work till we drop!

Pensions struggles still loom

Don't let the profit system cost us the earth!

'Free market' threatens cold weather crisis

NHS feature: Bring the campaigns together

Campaign for a New Workers' Party

Fight for a political voice for young people!

Hidden - the effects of term-time working

Weakness invites aggression

Workers fight introduction of cheap labour

USA - Lame duck president George Bush waddles on

Exploited workers in Middle East fight back

LSP/MAS mobilises against neo-fascists


Home   |   The Socialist 1 December 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleBelgium Lidl strike victory

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

triangleInternational news in brief


triangleUCU Wales suspends FE strike action

triangleVeolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire

triangleStrike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard

triangleMidwives go on strike in New Zealand


triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

triangleMorandi Bridge disaster - private profit to blame

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Immigration - a socialist perspective from Italy


triangle25 years since 50,000 marched against the far-right threat

triangleThe Socialist inbox


triangleThousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead





France in revolt



Workers defy brutal Iran regime



Midwives go on strike in New Zealand



France: mass demonstrations force president to back down



Workers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran



San Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement



Eyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron



How can Trump be defeated?


Sri Lanka

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka


Spanish state

Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education



US midterms: Republicans weakened - but workers' fightback needed to end Trumpism


Sexual harassment

Worldwide walkout at Google against sexual harassment



CWI news in brief



Pittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right



Bolsonaro - a threat to Brazil's workers and all oppressed people

triangleMore International articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018