Socialist Worker

Sudanese union calls general strike for ‘full victory’ against military

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2656

Workers defy the threats of the regime to go on strike

Workers defy the threats of the regime to go on strike


Groups of workers across Sudan began a two-day general strike on Tuesday as part of the fight to remove the military regime.

According to initial reports participants included sugar workers at the Kenana and Sinnar factories, port workers, and general workers in the Kober industrial area in the capital Khartoum.

Health, petroleum, nuclear power, aviation, bank, telecom and civil service workers in several ­ministries, engineers and university lecturers also took part.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) had taken the lead in organising the months of nationwide protests that led to the removal of dictator Omar al-Bashir in April.

It said, “In order to achieve a full victory, we are calling for a huge participation in a general political strike.

“A political strike is one of the most effective means of peaceful resistance.

“It is aimed at exerting ­grassroots pressure for the realisation of the goals of the Sudanese people’s revolution.

“The first and foremost goal is to ensure the immediate transfer of power to a civilian government.

“A political strike is a decisive revolutionary activity whereby all oscillating positions and attitudes are overcome.”

The SPA advised workers to attend work as usual but to “refuse to do any work while at the workplace” and then join rallies later in the day.

The action defied threats from General Hemeti, who is effectively the country’s leader, to sack ­government employees who struck.

Escalation

As well as the escalation to a general strike, the mass sit-ins outside military buildings continue in many parts of the country.

The military have tried to clear these, but failed despite repression.

On Friday of last week Mohamed Zain died from wounds sustained on 13 May.

He was assaulted with rifle butts during an attack on the Khartoum sit-in.

The military and the opposition have approved parts of a ­transitional deal towards full elections in three years’ time.

But there is no agreement on the make-up and leadership of a ­presidential council that would wield real power.

Last week the military ­leaders went on a tour of reactionary nearby states—Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates—all of whom offered support.

The mass involvement of workers this week points towards the way to drive out the military, use Sudan’s wealth for all the oppressed, and win real democracy.

The strikes must not be simply a negotiating tactic. They need to become indefinite to beat the military.

Such general strikes, which are a challenge for power, require the formation of workers’ councils to democratically run society.


Israeli military’s claims backfire in the West Bank

The Israeli military has been forced to abandon claims that Palestinians lit large fires in the West Bank—after one of its own soldiers was filmed starting the blaze.

Footage showed Israeli men—one of them a soldier on leave—setting fire to fields during an attack on a Palestinian village earlier this month.

The men were settlers—Israelis who live in the occupied West Bank—who attacked two Palestinian villages.

The Israeli army initially claimed Palestinians started the fires on Friday 17 May.

But footage released by human rights organisation B’Tselem last Friday showed settlers lighting the fires. Others hurled rocks at Palestinian houses while Israeli soldiers looked on.

The Israeli military confirmed it knew who the arsonists were—and that one of them was a solider on leave—after the footage was released.

The torched land belongs to Palestinians, but they are prevented from using it by Israeli soldiers because it is close to a settlement.


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