Sweden: Long live the Uprising of the Migrants!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23.5.2013, www.thecommunists.net


1.            The brutal murder of a 69-year-old man by the Swedish police has triggered an uprising of the migrants and poor. The police ridiculously claims it killed the victim “in self-defense” despite the fact that this poor old man locked himself in an apartment in Husby, west of Stockholm, and the cops forcefully entered this flat. Thousands say “Enough is Enough!” and they are right! Since several days migrant youth have entered the streets in Husby as well as other parts of Stockholm and fight against the police.

2.            This cold-blood murder by the police was the trigger but certainly not the cause of the Uprising. Sweden’s 1.4 million migrants – about 14.8% of the population (these are the official figures) – constitute the poorest strata of the country’s society. They work as a cheap labor force which Sweden’s capitalist’s super-exploit to raise their profits. While only 5% of native Swedish children live in poverty, for immigrant children with both parents born outside of the Sweden, the poverty rate is 39%! According to a study, 67% of those on long term benefits were born abroad. They are ghettoized in poor suburbs like Husby where 80% of the roughly 11,000 residents are first- or second-generation migrants. As in all imperialist countries, migrants are nationally oppressed and economically super-exploited. The RCIT states: the main force of the coming storm of class struggles in the imperialist countries (like Sweden) will be the lower and middle strata of the working class – not the upper, privileged, aristocratic layer. Amongst the lower strata of our class, the migrants constitute an important sector. This is why all authentic revolutionaries recognize the task of organizing migrant workers and youth and joining their struggles as a major task.

3.            As always the politicians and the media of the ruling class denounce the Uprising as “senseless violence” and “riots”. Nonsense! Like the heroic rebellions of the migrants and poor in France’s Banlieues in 2005 and in England’s inner cities in August 2011, this is not a riot – this is a spontaneous Uprising of the most oppressed strata of the working class! The RCIT welcomes this Uprising of Sweden’s migrants!

4.            What are now the most important tasks for revolutionaries in Sweden? First of all, mobilize for solidarity and support for the rebellious migrant youth! Participate and extend the spontaneous Uprising into mass struggles all over the country! For demonstrations and other protest actions all over the country! For regular local assemblies and for the formation of action committees of migrants and all workers and youth who support the protests! Such committees must coordinate the protests nationally. No to vandalism against the private property of ordinary citizens (e.g. smashing cars etc.) – focus the struggle against the state apparatus! For organized and coordinated attacks against police stations, public authorities and other institutions of the ruling class! Let them pay for the murder! To fight back against the brutal police forces: For self-defense units of migrants and all workers and youth who support the protests! Prepare and arm for the future: If the police are ready to kill a 69-year-old man, what will they do if they are faced with serious and determined resistance of the masses?!

5.            No trust in any state investigation into the murder committed by the police! For an independent inquiry by elected representatives of the migrant communities and the workers movement! Release of all those arrested in connection with the uprising, no criminal prosecution, no cuts in the social and communal services!

6.            The workers movement must break with the backward, pro-capitalist politics, the deep integration into the imperialist state and aristocratic prejudices of its leadership – the corrupt and privileged bureaucracy which dominates the LO (Landsorganisationen i Sverige, the trade union federation), the Socialdemokraterna (social-democratic party) and the Vänsterpartiet (ex-Stalinist Left Party). Down with the reformists and centrists who ignore and even denounce the Uprising! Mobilize for a program against poverty, against police brutality and against racist oppression! Fight for a public employment program under control of the workers movement and the migrant community, financed by massive taxes of the rich and the expropriation of the super-rich, in order to built up housing, schools, utilities, public transport in Sweden and in particular in the migrant areas! Long live the Uprising!

7.            Migrant and native workers and youth: Fight for full equality for migrants! For full citizenship rights for all who live in the country and irrespective of the passport! Equal Wages and Equal Jobs! Down with the national oppression, no privileges for the ruling Swedish nation, abolishment of the official state language! Equality for the mother languages of migrants in public administration, education system and media! The usage of the mother tongue has to be accepted in every public facility, for every legal document and contract! For a massive state program to employ migrants as teachers, translators, workers in the public administration and media!

8.            The most important task is to organize the politically conscious and militant migrants, workers and youth for the struggle for a revolutionary program. For a revolutionary migrant movement! Transform the trade unions into a multi-national, militant force! Smash the repression as well as the whole state apparatus and replace it with the organs of working class power – for a workers government based on workers’ councils and militias to open the road to socialism! Organize together in order to build a multi-national revolutionary party in Sweden as part of new World Party of Socialist Revolution – the Fifth Workers International. Only such a party can open the road to the socialist revolution in Sweden which is the only solution to eliminate once and for all poverty, national oppression and exploitation!