Denmark

Finally after ten years the right-wing government consisting of Venstre (Liberals), the Conservatives and with support from outside by the populist, racist Danish Peoples Party (DF) was defeated in the elections on September 15.  The result is very mixed one which will lead to a very turbulent political situation in Denmark.

The historic crisis of capitalism, and revolution in the Middle East and Europe was part of the background to the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Danish Marxist tendency Socialistisk Standpunkt held on the 24th September.

Draconian austerity measures are being imposed on the Danish workers by the conservative government presently in power, including plans to sack 20,000 public sector workers. This has provoked a massive worker backlash, with the recent 80,000-strong demonstration in Copenhagen. This is a taste of what is to come.

At a public meeting organized by various trade union, political organizations, and solidarity campaigns (including Hands Off Venezuela), more than 3,000 people in Copenhagen heard President Hugo Chávez correctly point out that a socialist revolution is the only solution to the problems of humanity.

A very militant strike of refuse collectors has broken out in Denmark, which has become a focal point of class struggle in the whole country. What the bosses are attempting to achieve in this strike is a major attack on trade union rights in general. The aim is to break the strike and then launch a wider attack on workers in other sectors. A lot is at stake for Danish workers.

On Thursday, a 25,000 strong demonstration was held in the Danish capital Copenhagen. This was a reaction against forced deportation of a group of Iraqi refugees, as well as police brutality against peaceful demonstrators who tried to stop the police from arresting the Iraqis who had taken refuge in a church in Copenhagen.

This year May Day in Denmark was very different from previous years, with 200,000 demonstrating in Copenhagen. A sharp shift to the left is noticeable among Danish workers, who on the one hand are feeling the shock effect of the severe economic crisis, but also seeking radical left alternatives.

A powerful public sector strike over pay has hit Denmark. The striking workers have huge support among the population and the right-wing conservative is coming under huge pressure.

By all appearances the right-wing government couldn't have picked a worse time to call an election. However, if one looks at the situation more closely, one can see that things will only get worse in the future for them.

Over 200 people packed the Workers' Museum in Copenhagen last night, leaving standing room only, in order to hear Esteban Volkov and Alan Woods speak on the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Esteban Volkov, the grandson of Leon Trotsky, and also last living witness to his assassination, spoke in the city where Trotsky made his final public speech in 1932.

On Wednesday the 7th of November a big meeting organised by the Danish Marxist tendency, Socialistisk Standpunkt, will take place in Copenhagen to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. However, 2007 marks another anniversary, and one with special importance for Denmark. It is 75 years since Leon Trotsky held his last public speech in November 1932, which was held at a huge meeting in Copenhagen, where Trotsky was invited by the Social-Democratic Students Association.

For the third time in one and half years over 100,000 people have come out to the streets in Denmark to protest against cuts to the welfare state. The Danish working class, particularly the public sector workers, have had enough. But mobilisations are not enough. What is needed is a bold leadership that can lead the movement to victory.

On hearing of the proposed expulsions from the SUF in Denmark, Claudio Bellotti, a member of the National Executive of Rifondazione Comunista in Italy, wrote to the leaders of the SUF calling on them to guarantee a democratic procedure and abandon bureaucratic methods.

Last week a special conference of the SUF was held where 26 Marxists were expelled. It was clear that the reformist wing of the SUF could not tolerate the growing influence of Marxist ideas within the SUF. A Left Opposition has now been launched to win the SUF back to its founding ideas of revolutionary socialism.

Socialistisk Standpunkt,the Marxist tendency in Denmark is being threatened with expulsion from the SUF (the Socialistisk UngdomsFront). The reason is very clear: the influence of the genuine ideas of Marxism has been growing for some time within the SUF. Not able to answer the political arguments of the Marxists, the leadership of the SUF is now trying to remove them bureaucratically. Please add your name to the protest against the threatened expulsions.

Copenhagen erupted over the weekend as a series of demonstrations against the tearing down of the Youth House turned violent. Similar to events in France in 2005, however, what the riots reflect is the accumulated anger of thousands of people, caused by a capitalist system completely incapable of providing a future for workers and youth.