Under a capitalist system, humans lose fundamental values and ethics and deprive them from any sense of social belonging. As a result of the Coronavirus, not only thousands of people had lost their lives, but millions of people are suffering from hunger, poverty, unemployment. All of the above-mentioned results are direct causes of COVID 19 pandemic, but also are seen as indirect results of what capitalism can lead to.
The global human efforts against Coronavirus equates the international struggles which the working class is pursuing against capitalism. Therefore, a new and significant meaning is said to characterize the Workers’ Day celebrations for this year. Parallel to the ongoing class struggle in different parts of the World, humanity is facing the effects of COVID 19, and here comes the convergence between the two tracks. The peoples of the World are aspiring for national and social liberation, as much as they are aiming to build socialist systems.
Lebanon, as all the World countries, is facing the Coronavirus through different tools and mechanisms. The working class, physicians, nurses, poor, and marginalized people are now at the frontline of this battle. Not surprising at all that these segments were the same ones who resisted the Israeli enemy, and pursued a heroic national struggle against the political class and its capitalist branches. Also, those are the people who bravely stood up against the political establishment during the October 17 uprising.
The COVID 19 gave a pre-text for the ruling class to continue with their plans which in large complies with the interests of the bourgeoisie. They see Coronavirus as an opportunity to promote their political agenda which is based on creating discords between Lebanese people along sectarian and religious lines.
We take the opportunity of this statement to re-assure our fierce opposition against all factions of the government, whether those who are part of the current government or who were represented in the past government. We label them as one political entity that play different roles in each political era. These factions carried out series of actions that are against people’s will. The list includes the so-called “Reform Plan “of the Ex- Cabinet, security crackdowns against October 17 tents in different areas in Lebanon, the obvious collusion between the political and judicial authorities to release Amer El-Fakhoury, carrying out public administrations appointments based on sectarian criteria, and finally not taking the responsibility of drafting regulations that aim to control bank transfers. In addition, these factions convene today in the Parliament in order to legislate laws that will eventually produce more corruption and irregularities. Such legislators cannot be the people responsible for the change we are all aspiring for.
LCP considers that escalating the popular movement should form the basis of any alternative power shortly. Political leaders should be held accountable for all their crimes; on top of which is the huge public debt that the country is still suffering from its drastic effects. Public money and properties associated with the state should be immediately restored. The mechanism of public money restoration was detailed in the press conference that our party held last week. It can be summarized by reforming the taxation system in a way that taxes rich people instead of taxing the poor. Progressive income taxation should be the building block for such a process. LCP sees that some political factions are trying to take advantage over the current satiation claiming themselves to be part of the opposition, while in fact they are part of the ruling class. This group had heavily relied in the past on the US support in order to carry out their political agenda.
On another note, our party sees that if people were to continue with the home-based quarantine, then the authorities’ responsibility should be to provide them with adequate food, housing, hygiene, in addition to cancellations of their personal loans, electricity bills, rent fees, and phone billing. Otherwise, people will resort to reactionary moves in order to protect their rights. The Lebanese Communist Party warns from the effects that might result from not providing these essential services amid an escalating socio-economic crisis. This situation comes in parallel with a tremendous increase in the prices of almost all goods and services, Lebanese Lira continuing to lose its value, salary reductions, temporary closure of companies, strict bank regulations on money withdrawal in USD Dollars, and the finally the reduction of the compensation benefits of National Social Security Funds (known as NSSF), and other funds associated to liberal professions, teachers, and of employees of the public and private sector.
LCP sees the importance of commemorating Labor Day for 2020 even at a time when a pandemic hit the globe. However, this should be done in a novel way that takes into consideration the health risk factors. On this occasion, our party salutes and acknowledges the heavy sacrifices the working class had put in the last decades, and especially those who were labelled as the early unionists in Lebanon. The party assures that it will continue its struggle to establish an independent labor movement which replace the General Labor Union- a labor union that is controlled by the authorities.
There is a huge responsibility on the burden of us all, but especially on the leftist, democratic, and secular forces. We call on these forces to unite their efforts in order to lay down the foundations of a unified and solid political programme- one that matches people’s expectations, especially after October 17 uprising.
The Lebanese Communist Party
April 21, 2020