Don’t you know, they’re talkin ’bout a revolution, It sounds like a whisper
While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time, in the unemployment lines
Sitting around, waiting for a promotion
Poor people gonna rise up and get their share
Poor people gonna rise up and take what’s theirs
Don’t you know, you better run, run, run, run, run
Cause finally the tables are starting to turn,
talkin’ about a revolution –Tracy Chapman
Dear Readers, for those of you who are not following events in Europe, here is what is happening: another version of the Occupy demonstrations of the USA, prompted by extreme unemployment and slashing of social welfare money to millions of people across southern Europe, brought huge numbers of people into the streets to protest the EU’s austerity measures. Viva la Revolution!! from http://rt.com/news/austerity-protests-eu-solidarity-727/
Wednesday, November 14th was an historic day in Europe, as millions of people took to the streets to protest the EU’s unfair and extreme austerity measures. Workers marched in 23 countries across Europe to mark the European Day of Action and Solidarity. General strikes had been called in Spain and Portugal, paralyzing public services and international flights, in Belgium and France transport links were partially disrupted by strikes and demonstrations, in Italy and Greece thousands of workers and students marched through the streets. Other EU countries, such as Germany, Austria and Poland, saw well attended union-led rallies.
Spain, which has the highest unemployment rate in the industrialized world, pioneered the action, with protests and clashes starting overnight and dozens of arrests reported by morning. According to the unions, some 9 million workers took to the streets across the nation. Slogans like “Rajoy Go Home” were chanted by Spaniards outraged over Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s public spending cuts that have led to a 26% unemployment rate in the country.
Leaflets saying “They leave us without future. They are the guilty ones. There are other solutions” could be seen all around Madrid.
Strikes and violent protests gripped Italy, as tens of thousands protesters took to the streets all over the country rallying against Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures. Rome became the center of the chaos, as rioting workers and students brought the streets to a standstill when they confronted the police, throwing rocks, bottles and firecrackers at them.
Portugal entered the general strike with anti-austerity rallies in 40 towns and cities throughout the country. Lisbon froze as people poured into the streets: the subway was shut down, railway strikes left commuters stranded and half of the flights were cancelled. Thousands of people frustrated by a record 15.8 per cent unemployment rate, gathered in front of the Portuguese parliament building, shouting “The troika does not rule here!” The clashes broke out as police tried to clear the streets of Lisbon in the evening with protesters throwing stones and rubbish in response.
After last week’s vigorous 48-hour anti-austerity strike, Greeks gathered in a relatively quiet 5000-strong protest in Athens and called for a three-hour work stoppage in solidarity with the Spaniards, Italians and Portuguese. People chanted “Athens, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon – everyone in the streets!” as they marched on Syntagma Square carrying flags. There were minor clashes with police, but the demonstration was mainly peaceful.
Meanwhile, in Brussels eggs and firecrackers were thrown at Portugal’s embassy as part of the solidarity protests as crowds of people came to the European Union headquarters to demonstrate. But although the demonstrations in Belgium were largely peaceful, the unions managed to disrupt transport links as railway workers halted high-speed train services countrywide.
France was hit by 130 rallies against austerity measures, with the French government lashed by the demonstrators. The French General Confederation of Labor referred to the 14 November strikes as the first “social movement of this scale” in the history of the EU.
- ‘We have no future!’ EU anger unites millions in protest (PHOTOS, VIDEO) (rt.com)
- Millions across Europe protest banker induced austerity (hangthebankers.com)
- European cities snarled by anti-austerity general strikes (metronews.ca)
- Anti-austerity strikes erupt across Europe (aljazeera.com)
- Europe, Spain, Portugal And Greece Shut Down As Massive Austerity Riots Sweep Country (shiftfrequency.com)
- Flights grounded as millions join EU austerity protests (theweek.co.uk)