They Have Forgotten Us
by Peter Mertens
Stars are only visible in the dark. During the coronavirus crisis, it became suddenly dark. Very dark. And everyone could see the stars shining: the heroes of the coronavirus, the working class. The ones who really make society run. 'They forgot about us, Peter,' writes Anna, who works as a cleaner in a hospital. She talks about her husband who just lost his job at the airport, and also about the bills still to be paid: 'Applause is good, but it doesn't fill the plate.'
COVID-19 has removed the masks of a society where greed is king and corruption is queen, in which we are told that we are 'all in the same boat', that the situation will 'work itself out'. Bullshit. We are sliding into a deep recession. Millions of people are out of work and the rich are getting even richer. This must stop.
They have forgotten us. A striking manifesto on the crisis and the thirst for profit in times of coronavirus. A manifesto of an old world that is dying and a new one that is being born; a story of stars, solidarity, and new hope. A call to commitment. The future must be won with the struggle of those who keep the world running.
PETER MERTENS is a leader of the Workers' Party of Belgium. He has served as a member of the Chamber of Representatives since 2019, and as a Municipal Councillor in Antwerp since 2013.