14th November Sees Strikes and Demonstrations Across Europe

14th November was a European wide day of action, called by the European Trades Union Congress. General strikes were held in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, four of the countries worst affected by austerity, whilst solidarity demonstrations were held in towns and cities across the continent.

In Birmingham around 20 people gathered near the council house to show solidarity with European workers, discussing austerity and the situation in Europe with passers by and listening to people talk about recession, demanding an end to social sector cuts, and for alternative economic policies that will improve the economy whilst building towards an environmentally sustainable future.

The demonstration was featured on Adrian Goldberg’s BBC Radio WM show, at 2hrs 22mins
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p010dwzm/Adrian_Goldberg_The_Tube_at_30_Chris_Phipps/

Unsurprisingly, our demonstration was rather dwarfed by the millions who turned out across Southern Europe. Unemployment in Spain and Greece is around 25%, with 50% youth unemployment. The austerity that is being imposed on these countries is trapping them into a depressionary cycle, where each round of cuts leads to job losses and falling demand in the economy, causing the private sector to shrink as well, meaning more job losses, less people earning and spending and falling demand in the economy… which leads to a rising deficit, that is then used to justify more cuts… which leads to job losses…
We in the UK are not yet at this point, but the deficit has begun to rise, and this rise is being used to justify more counterproductive public spending cuts. Continued austerity will see triple dip recession as the UK bumps along the bottom. One quarter in growth then two in recession is likely to be the order of things for the next few years if government policy does not change.

Join us on Wednesday 5th December, when the autumn budget statement will set out Osborne’s slashing agenda for the following financial year. Huge cuts to the welfare budget are expected, along with increased cuts across the public sector, particularly in local government, where Birmingham is now expected to lose 50% of its discretionary spending by 2017.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “14th November Sees Strikes and Demonstrations Across Europe

  1. Susan Smith

    So proud of all that did this, but the rest of Britain really need to wake up to what is going on. Thank you on behalf of all of us who could not attend due to ill health. Solidarity

  2. Pingback: Birmingham Trades Council » 14th November Sees Strikes and Demonstrations Across Europe

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