On 5 February, the Danish Trade Union Confederation, consisting of 79 unions, organised a 50,000-strong demonstration in front of the Danish parliament in protest against the government’s plan to remove a public holiday. The newly-formed government – which consists of an alliance between the Social Democratic Party and two bourgeois parties – have planned to carry out major attacks on the Danish working class.
The plan to remove a bank holiday from workers stands out like a sore thumb in the government’s programme.
The proposal to remove the holiday has also come at a time when the unions and the employers in the private sector are engaged in intense negotiations over collective bargaining, at a juncture when we are seeing an unprecedented fall in real wages. The combination of these negotiations and the government’s attacks could very well spark a mass strike wave. The social democrats and their bourgeois colleagues have poked the sleeping giant that is the Danish working class, and it is now beginning to wake from its slumber.
The comrades of Revolutionary Socialists (The Danish section of the IMT) also participated in the demonstration. Around 40 comrades attended, with banners, flags, and our paper, Revolution, making ours one of the most noticeable political organisations at the demonstration.
The well-organised march by our comrades to the square in front of parliament caught the attention of hundreds of those present. Our banner – on which was emblazoned the words, “If they want a fight, let’s give them one” – resonated with many who stopped to take pictures on their phones. And although we had printed hundreds of copies of our paper, this proved insufficient, as we sold every last copy that we brought to the demonstration. This reception reflected the militant mood of the workers and youth at the demonstration, and the clear thirst for revolutionary ideas.
Of course, the demonstration in itself is not going to stop the government’s attacks on the Danish working class, but it has shown that the workers will no longer sit back while their lives become unlivable. We – the comrades of Revolutionary Socialists – represent a force on the left that will stand side-by-side with the working class in the coming struggles.