For many of us summer break is a privilege we can enjoy oblivious to the fact that it’s something everybody should have the right to but not everyoned does! Breaking the working cycle was not a gift, but the result of a hard struggle of workers and their unions. In France, it is the cultural heritage of FRONT POPULAIRE in 1936 with “les congés payés”. There are nice historical documents showing the scared faces of the bourgeois seeing the proletarians arriving on the nice beaches they thought to be reserved exclusively for themselves.
We might also think of Karl Marx’ whose 200th anniversary we are remembring this year. For him, free days conceived by the capitalists only served to reconstitute the workforce. Well, it helps us all in this sense. 100 years after Karl Marx, Nelson Mandela was born whose struggle is continuously inspiring us. Despite his prison on Ellis Island becoming a very attractive touristic destination. The struggle is not over as apartheid may have been formerly overcome, the root causes of injustice which are behind the social apartheid still beating and alive.
Stepping back for a while does good, for those who can. For thers welfare and social organisations, like many of our members, are at the forefront to offer at least some relaxing and inspiring moments over summer time with leisure, cultural or sports activities.
In the end, it always comes back: inequality is far from being overcome and the difference between those who have and those who want to have is becoming larger in and between European member states, but also around the globe. No time for summertime blues, but time to recharge the batteries. The upcoming European election will need a lot of commitment and engagement from our side to stand for the political values we defend, to fight right-wing populism and to mobilise the undetermined, doubtful, critical showing that a better, a more social and inclusive Europe is needed and possible!
Together for social justice – also over summer!