The General Secretary of WFTU addressed a meeting of economic immigrants from India in the area of Koropi, in Athens were he referred, among other subjects, to the culture, the religion, the traditions and the history of each people. Amongst other he noted:
“The state cannot impose any obligation regarding religion. On the contrary, everyone should be free to exercise any religion he chooses or none. No discrimination should be allowed against civilians for their religious beliefs. Each one should have the ability to build temples, mosques or other religious venues, to fulfill his religious traditions.
WFTU is absolutely clear in this position.
However, we, the workers who go every day at work, must consider the following: The capitalists have one God whom they worship. It’s their profit. The bigger the better. The bigger it gets, the more ruthless they get. This god unites and divides them. In obedience to this god they built their own political parties, they organize the means of repression, they prepare military expeditions, they bring bloodbath to whole populations and attack the labor rights by every possible way.
The WFTU is addressing to all the workers of the world who are victims of the monopolies and imperialism and who live in the country they were born or in another. To all those people who live under constant anxiety for the future of their family and theirs. We may all believe in a different religion or none, we may have different skin color, or we may speak a different language. We have different celebrations, music and dances, different kinds of food we eat. These differences make our world interesting and beautiful. The traditions and the customs are our heritage. The music of every people embeds the laboring, the struggles, the precariousness, the dreams of each people, as so do all the popular arts. The freedom of each people to preserve their traditions is very important. It’s important to be free to teach your children your language, your history and your customs. No matter which country your leave in, this should be an unquestionable right.
WFTU respects each people’s culture. It’s the cultural heritage of us all.
But, each time one of the popular-working family gathers around the common table, no matter in which side of the planet they are, what they all have as a common topic of discussion is the daily labor, the insecurity towards the future, the daily ruthless exploitation, the deprivations, the unfairness, the occupational accidents and illnesses, the dreams and needs who are taken away by the capitalists.
In this case, all of us who share the same needs and the same enemy, can we see each other as something different? Can we accept division because of the color of our skin, the religion we believe in or whether we are immigrants or not, whether we work in the same sector or other, in the same capitalist or other? No! We can’t!
Workers cannot accept such kind of division amongst them. The international proletariat must put aside the divisions and find the real solutions to its problems only through class unity, concord and mutual respect for the culture of each people.
We know very well, in fact, that we don’t have the luxury to withstand the burdens of this life, to patiently silence and to secretly pray for a better world on an after-life.
In this world, we are living today, we have the obligation to struggle combatively for a better world for ourselves, today, and for our children and grand-children tomorrow. Our spirit and force should be utilized in the effort to get organized in every country of the world and to demand our rights and our contemporary needs against the plots and the policy of the transnational monopolies.
Most of us who are here today believe that our heaven and hell are right here, in this world we are living today, in this life we are living now. Let’s not wait resignedly to live a better life after death. Let’s struggle now, here, today to defeat the capitalist hell and to build a better place, without unfairness, without racism, without poverty, without wars, without hunger, without child mortality. A world without exploitation of man-by-man.