The National Workers Union (NWU) strongly renews its call that the government must bring the state of emergency to an end immediately. It is not good enough to do away with the curfew. The state of emergency itself must be terminated.
On July 21st we warned the country in a statement on our website that the government was preparing to call an SOE. The NWU first made our call to end the state of emergency on August 30th. The NWU argued that the Emergency was invoked primarily to obstruct the mobilisation by the trade union movement for a general strike.
The NWU also stated that the government was under fire for betraying its manifesto promises and called the State of emergency to appear to be “fighting crime” while at the same time seeking to gain support from some sections of the society for its assault on freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of movement and freedom of expression.
NWU pointed out that economic activity would be hard hit by the curfew and that business people, who in the main supported the SOE were in a better position than low paid minimum wage and other workers to weather the storm. In fact thousands of workers have been devastated.
On September 16th the NWU renewed its call for an end to the SOE and on October 2nd publicly supported the position of the Joint Union Conference of Shop Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO) held on October 1st that the emergency must be terminated. Like the rest of the trade union movement NWU supports the petition of Fixing T&T that the emergency be brought to an end
The State of Emergency is intended to accustom people to the sight of uniformed enforcers armed to the teeth willing to trample on citizens’ rights under the pretext of saving us from criminals. How does attacking basic rights of citizens contribute to the fight against crime?
With Christmas and carnival coming our parasitic merchant capitalists were seeing millions going down the drain and through their chambers and associations began to call for an end to the SOE they had previously supported, but they also hedged their bets by saying that the government should at least lift the curfew.
Their call had nothing to do with the gross violations of constitutional and civil rights which are implicit in a state of emergency. As far as they are concerned as long as they can make their obscene profits the police could keep violating the rights of citizens, arresting without warrant, kicking down doors, criminalising trade union and political activity, suppressing freedom of association, expression and movement. The politicians as usual rushed to satisfy the interests of their financiers and lifted the curfew.
The government expects citizens to be grateful for the lifting of the curfew while basic civil, constitutional and human rights continue to be violated on a daily basis. It’s like thanking a bandit for ceasing to planass you while he chops and stabs you.
Our neo-fascist politicians should ponder that in Egypt a state of emergency which was in place for decades did not save Mubarak from the wrath of the masses. The National Workers Union demands that the repressive state of emergency must be lifted.