"If the unions are on our side, why are there 15,000 riot police between us and them?"

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"If the unions are on our side, why are there 15,000 riot police between us and them?"
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: "If the unions are on our side, why are there 15,000 riot police between us and them?". The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

The brave,valiant and

The brave,valiant and hard-struggling comrade who wrote this excellent account of the Tekel workers' fights, and even included his own poem; as well as the ICC's accounts, and their evaluation of the lessons to be learned from the whole protracted struggle, make an invaluable documentation of what took place in Turkey, and afterwards during the tour of Germany when the events were discussed and analyzed by many people in different cities. In these meetings the emphasis is laid on the self-organization of the working class as an essential fighting tool; and on the sneaky confusions and betrayals perpetrated by the unions as they seek to derail our class struggles, and prevent us from seeing our goal and from developing the consciousness resulting from our struggles as fully as we might. But this is what the unions are there for.

But what I am left wondering is, what still remains in the minds and memories of the mass of workers who took part in all of this, and who went through so much personal sacrifice, and gained materially so little. You might ask the same question about the students in England in December 2010, who put up such a fight against the raising of educational tuition fees, but lost the fight of course. So what do all these workers/students feel now about the capitalist system and their struggles against it? Is there a subterranean development of consciousness going on, among some at least, or are they mostly defeated? Do we live to fight another day in better circumstances, and with greater solidarity?

The author of the article in question ends with this. "My dear class brothers and sisters, what we have to question is, if there are 15 thousand policemen barricaded in front of the trade-union and the worekrs, why do the trade-unions exist. I am calling on all my class brothers and sisters, that if we want victory we have to struggle together. We the Tekel workers have lit a spark, and we shall turn it into a massive fireball all together."

It's true they lit a spark, but has it gone out? It's true we could create a massive fireball altogether, through our solidarity and class consciousness of it. But whether we can do this on the basis of previous sparks, or whether we're always being pushed back to square one and having to start all over again, I don't know. But I certainly hope not!