The so-called “railroad war” is not limited to actions of workers in the Russian bloc or even railroad workers: trains and planes loaded with tanks and arms shipments have been stopped by workers in the US bloc…. Although naturally the European press has reported only marginally about it.
Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has been talking about “a new kind of war” for days. The Baltic governments speak of “the biggest security threat in the last 30 years.” EU Council President Michel calls the arrival of a few hundred migrants a “brutal, hybrid, violent and undignified attack.” And the most enthusiastic European press echoes him today: “We are facing a hybrid attack from a clearly hostile neighbor” editorialized El País. But are we really facing a “hybrid war” action? Are a few hundred refugees a threat? To whom?
A thousand refugees and migrants at the border may seem commonplace in Mediterranean countries. But on the eastern borders of the EU this means a full-fledged refugee crisis mobilizing the army and serving as the basis for a brutal nationalist and racist campaign. In a perverse game between the dictator of Belarus and the rulers of Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and Greece, it is serving as a means of ending the few remaining guarantees for refugees and migrants in Europe. “The right of asylum, as laid down in European law, no longer exists throughout Europe,” sentenced Spiegel yesterday.
The workers will not gain any advantage from marching with Lukashenko, but neither will they gain any advantage from marching under the flags of the opposition. It is precisely the social and economic slogans -and not those of the opposition and its proposal for a general strike- that can enable the struggle in the Belarusian plants to be carried on and extended to the private sector again
The workers have finally appeared on the scene in Belarus, with their own concerns and not under the initial calls of the opposition. They are now presenting themselves as a force during this crisis, but the outcome is not yet decided. Will they be caught up in the incipient popular revolt as the opposition wants, or will they advance their own struggle as a class by adding their own slogans to their own budding movement?
The world’s news programmes depict the elections and protests in Belarus in a completely contradictory way. While the Spanish TV links the electoral fraud to Russia, the BBC recalls the background of recent clashes between the two regimes and the German TV highlights the joint statement of Poland and Lithuania lukewarmly calling for further talks. What lies beneath the political crisis in Belarus?