G20: Make the rich pay for their crisis!

Nationalise the banks under the democratic control of the working population

Here below, we publish the text of the leaflet being distributed by members of the CWI at the anti-G20 mobilisations taking place this weekend in Toronto, Canada.

The main question that the G20 member countries will address in Toronto on June 26th and 27th will be to reconsider the role of the big banks, those most responsible for the recent economic and financial crises. But it doesn’t take a genius to realise that these talks will lead not to a real solution to the crimes of the capitalist economic cycle of boom and bust, but to the usual promotion of free trade agreements, privatisation and fiscal austerity, all of which punish workers and the general public to benefit the wealthy few.

Short-sighted ‘solutions’

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), supported by the European capitalist powers, is proposing a tax on banks, which have come out stronger from the disasters they have caused. This tax would be accumulated as an “insurance fund”, in case of a future crisis – which is considered inevitable. This tax could only have the effect of encouraging banks to speculate even further, since they would now be provided with an insurance against crises! Just like the massive bail out of the banks and financial institutions, this insurance would not be used to help working people and the victims of the crisis, but only allow the minority of fat cats and bankers to become even richer, on the back of growing misery for the majority.

However, Harper (Canadian Prime Minister) has already indicated his wish to kill even the modest global bank tax that has been proposed. According to his claim, Canadian banks have “behaved correctly” during the crisis. Yet, they received nearly $200 billion from the government through the ‘Canadian Society of Housing’, in order to prevent them from being “disadvantaged”. By subsidising banks and large companies in times of crisis, the government substitutes itself for consumers unable to pay for goods and services. It merely shifts the problem: resolving the private debt crisis by creating a public debt crisis.

Workers bail out the rich – but the fightback has begun

The consequences of the 2007-2008 financial melt-down on workers, students, unemployed and pensioners are far from over. We must now suffer the consequences of rescuing the big banks. The cost of the bailout will be used by the state as an excuse to slash public services and social programmes. We will pay the bill for the crisis for years to come, in the form of hikes in user fees and cuts to social services and welfare, such as the cuts to the special diet benefit by McGuinty in Ontario and Jean Charest in Quebec.

But, like in several countries where the situation is similar, many workers and young people understand that they will have to fight back in order to defend their jobs, working conditions and public services. This was demonstrated during the big trade union demo in Montreal in March, the anti-G8 protests and the workers’ and youth fight back in Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc.

Despite the fact that the recession is supposedly ‘technically over’, the unemployment rate in Quebec stands at 8% since early 2010, and the cuts will only worsen the situation in this respect.

The crisis is not over

The policies adopted by the G20 to resolve the crisis have been bitter failures. The reason: the G20 is only an instrument in the hands of the main powerful capitalist powers of the globe. Incapable of addressing the root problems – the contradictions of capitalism which led to the development of the present crisis – the G20 leaders are only postponing them to a later stage, with new catastrophes for our lives and our planet.

We must rely on ourselves to make things change. That is why we must fight and build our own anti-capitalist political alternative in Quebec, Canada and on a world scale, now!

New parties

The working class, anti-capitalist activists and youths need their own political parties that can act in their interests as well as fighting for decent jobs, living wages, social housing and welfare and democratic trade unions ready to take up and organise the struggle against the brutal assaults on our living standards.

It is with this objective in mind that the MPSQ (CWI in Quebec) is active inside ‘Québec Solidaire’. Like inside the NPA in France, Die Linke in Germany, or the P-SOL in Brazil, the CWI campaigns for new workers’ parties and for them to adopt a socialist program.

Capitalism has failed – Break it down!

We demand:

· Stop plant closures and mass layoffs!

· Stop all cuts in public services, pensions, wages and social benefits!

· Jobs for all, on a living wage!

· No more hand outs to the speculators and parasitic money lenders!

· No to privatization! Defend and strengthen our public services! Re-nationalise the public utilities that have been privatised!

· Free education at all levels and a free health service!

· Immediate action to reverse ‘global warming’ and environmental destruction!

· For the nationalisation of the banks and major corporations, under the public ownership and democratic control of the working class.

· For a socialist plan of production. For a socialist society and a green economy to put the needs of people and the environment first!

Another world is possible – A socialist world

The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) is an international socialist organization, fighting for the interests of working class people and youth across the globe, active in about 40 countries on all continents. Capitalism is a world system and, therefore, we need to unite workers, youth and oppressed peoples around the globe in their struggle. Join us!

Committee for a Workers’ International:

socialistworld.net -cwi@worldsoc.co.uk

Movement for the Socialist Party of Quebec:

mpsquebec.org – info@mpsquebec.org

Socialist Alternative (Canada):


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June 2010