Anarchists participate in trade-union demonstration


November 8th, 1997
Prague autonomous group of FSA-IWA actively took part in the trade union protest demonstration, which was held 8.11. in Prague.

The action was organised by reformist trade union CMKOS, but we participated in order to spread anarchist ideas among workers. The rally was attended by more than 100.000 workers, most of them calling for general strike and direct actions against the government. The CMKOS is a remnant of the post-bolshewic trade unions, politically indifferent and reformist, but a lot of syndicates begun recently to radicalize on a scale unseen before in Czechoslovakia. FSA group distributed free 3000 copies of second issue of our propagandist newspaper "The Voice of Direct Action" and 4500 leaflets calling for general strike.

Surprisingly, our propagation was received very positively by the workers and many of them openly expressed support for revolutionary anarchism, a lot of trade unionists took more copies of our magazine to distribute it among their fellow workers.

Finally the rally ended on Staromestska square in Prague. The CMKOS leader, well known social-democratic renegade Richard Falbr, had a speech, but had been continually interrupted by shouting of radical unionists, calling for general strike instead of demonstrations etc. Our group marched in the rally under the big red slogan banner "No social peace with those, who exploit us!" and three red/black flags.

Generally, this action was big succes for social-anarchist propagation and it was first sign of radical development among trade unions. Some metalworks unions already expressed their will to leave the CMKOS, because of it's reformism and collaboration with the government. There is a big chance to influence some more radical trade unions to adopt anarcho-syndicalist strategy and ideas, because most of the Czech trade unions are still not connected with any political party.

The demonstration was attended also by two trotskyist sectarian groups - "Future" /orientated towards British "Militant"/ and "Socialist Solidarity" /orientated towards SWP/, which created a common bloc with "anarcho-syndicalist " from Czech reformist group "Solidarity". Their propagation did not have a bigger impact, because their only collected signatures for petition calling for general strike...