South Africa's Democratic Left Front: 'Solidarity with the women and workers of Greece'

Statement by the Democratic Left Front (South Africa)

July 2, 2012 -- The Democratic Left Front (DLF – South Africa) expresses its full solidarity with the women, workers, progressive mass movements and the SYRIZA party of Greece as they face the deep effects of the EU-inspired austerity onslaught. The Greek austerity plan involves cuts of 11.6 billion euros ($14.5 billion) by 2014. This amount will come from brutal cuts in budgets for health, wages and pensions. It will also mean hundrends of thousands of job losses in the Greek public sector. This austerity plan is meant to make the workers and the poor pay.

South African workers and unemployed people have faced a similar onslaught for the last 18 years under neo-liberal African National Congress (ANC) rule.

In the June 17 elections, the anti-austerity SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) came a close second with 26.9% of the vote. The right-wing New Democracy won the elections with more than 29%, amid huge blackmail and threats from major European governments and financial institutions.

The DLF congratulates SYRIZA on its formation as it brings together diverse left groups. What SYRIZA has done is an example and lesson to the left around the world. By forming the DLF in South Africa in January 2011, we are also contributing the a process of democratic left renewal on the basis of anti-capitalist mass movements engaged in active struggle. The DLF is a front of anti-capitalist struggle and solidarity that brings together independent trade unions, social movements, rural organisations and left groups behind a platform against neo-liberalism and for an eco-socialist alternative.

The DLF was focused on the June elections in Greece with hopes for a SYRIZA victory as a basis for rolling back neoliberal Europe and inspiring mass anti-capitalist struggles the world over. The performance of SYRIZA in the elections is a tribute to the mass struggles of Greek workers and other progressive popular forces in that country. We salute SYRIZA for its refusal to succumb to intense pressure to capitulate on its platform of repudiating the pro-austerity memorandum Greece has signed and rolling back the savage spending cuts that were a condition of a financial bailout by European bankers.

We call on SYRIZA to continue with this path of resistance. As a coalition of parties, groups, and movements of the left, and on the basis of its local committees support for a coalition of rank-and-file left unionists inside the factories and the public sector, SYRIZA is now in a position to sustain anti-capitalist social mobilisation that can continue to challenge neoliberal Europe and the austerity measures being currently imposed by the right-wing New Democracy government.

This fighting role of SYRIZA is even more critical given how right-wing fascists are building in some neighbourhoods, even developing food support for their areas. This is an old tactic of the bourgeoisie to use the working class to fight its battles both in parliament and in the streets.

The DLF stands in solidarity with the resilient Greek movements in their struggle, which is a struggle with significant implications for the whole world.