In September, October and November we filled the streets of Portugal showing clearly that the people are against the austerity and destructive policies imposed by the government and its allies, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank – the troika. Once we defeated amendments to Sole Social Taxe, new measures soon appeared and even more serious. The Budget for 2013 and the new proposals of the IMF, prepared with the government, unerringly fire against labor rights, against public services, against the public school system and the National Health Service, against culture, against all that is ours by and hit right in the heart of each and every one of us. Everywhere, growing unemployment and precariousness, emigration, wild privatizations, selling the balance of public enterprises, while reducing labor costs.
We stand indignant with the theft of the retirement pensions, with the threat of firings and lay offs, with each job destroyed. We stand indignant with the closure of the grocery stores, the restaurants, the shops and cafes of our neighborhoods. We stand indignant with the town government that disappears, with the health center that closes, with the closing of maternitiy hospitals, with schools increasingly more poor and degraded. We stand indignant with the appearance of new taxes disguised as fees, tolls, etc. We stand indignant with those who managed poorly what is ours and then decide to privatize what belongs to all- water, oceans, beaches, territory – everything that we built over the years – the electricity network, airports, hospitals, post offices. We stand indignant with the daily degradation of our quality of life.
We stand indignant with increases of bread and milk, water, electricity and gas, public transport. We are revolted to know of another friend who is forced to leave Portugal, of another family who lost their home, of another hungry child. We rebel against increased discrimination and racism. We are revolted to know that another citizen gave up on life. All this is the troika: an unelected government that decides on our present conditioning our future. The troika condemns dreams to death, the future to fear, life to survival. Its aims are clear: to increase our debt, impoverishing the majority and enriching a minority, to annihilate the economy, to reduce wages and rights, to destroy the social state and Portuguese sovereignty. The success of its objectives depends on our misery. If the destruction of the welfare state ensures the troika’s debt financing and therefore their profits, with the destruction of the economy ensures a continuously dependent and indebted country.
On February 25, the leaders of the troika, in cahoots with the government, will begin a new evaluation period of our country. For this they need our cooperation and that is what we are not going to give them. Because we do not believe in the false argument that if we “just bear it” markets will be generous. We refuse to collaborate with the troika, the IMF, with a government that serves only the interests of those who came to pay less for labor, with banks and bankers, with the dictatorship of the financial markets. And resist. We resist because this is the only way to preserve dignity and life. We resist because we know that there are alternatives and because we know what we have as inevitable is in fact unworkable and therefore unacceptable. We resist because we believe in building a more just society.
To this wave that destroys everything we oppose the tidal wave of our indignation and on March 2nd we will fill the streets again. We demand the resignation of the government and that the people to be called to decide their lives.
United like never before, we shall say enough. To all citizens, with and without a political party, with and without employment, and without hope, we urge you to join us. All political and military organizations, civic movements, trade unions, political parties, institutions, informal groups, we urge you to join us. From north to south, the islands, abroad, take to the streets!
SCREW THE TROIKA! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!