Europe’s growing wave of resistance to the crisis

Original article, a series of news reports, via Socialist Worker (UK):

Here’s the subtitle:

Across Europe there is a growing rebellion against attempts to make ordinary people pay for the economic crisis. Socialist Worker reports on the protests that have swept Greece, Italy and Germany in the past week

Keep in mind how we’ve reacted here in the US. We’ve just elected someone who was a major reason that the $750 billion+ bailout package for the bosses got passed. I would say that’s rather complacent!

Greece

Greece is still in the grip of a growing strike wave in opposition to the right wing government’s attempts to pass the costs of the economic crisis onto working people.

On Thursday of last week Olympic Airlines workers struck and blocked a runway at Athens airport over plans to sell off the company.

Underground and tram workers in Athens were on strike on Monday of this week. On Wednesday local authority workers who will stage a national demonstration in Athens and on the following day students and teachers are set to strike.

Meanwhile telecoms and textile workers occupied their workplaces against job losses.

Aiaiaiaiaiaiai! Greece, being one of the smaller members of the EU, has been hit hard by the economic crisis. Greek workers know that their government intends to pay off the bosses and make the workers pay for that payout. Good for them for taking action against the parasitical capitalists!

Italy

Across Italy universities remain occupied and protests continue against the education “reforms” of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s right wing government.

The attacks involve cuts in teaching hours and mass sackings of teachers. Berlusconi also wants children of immigrants who fail a compulsory language test to be taught in ghettoised classrooms, cut off from other primary school pupils.

Needless to say, Berlusconi’s one of Europe’s biggest parasites. Is it any wonder that the working class is bearing the brunt of his economic policies? It’s amazing that they even continue to allow him anywhere near the halls of power, but that’s what being one the super-rich will buy you in the neoliberal world today.

Over one million people took to the streets of Rome on Thursday of last week as parliament passed the laws. Teachers in both the primary and secondary sectors struck while students blockaded roads, rail lines and bridges.

Where were the million in US streets? Oh, yes, sitting back and waiting to vote for someone who helped to pass the bailout for the bosses! Duh!

Within the movement there is a growing debate over how to defeat Berlusconi’s measures.

Many look to lobbying the great and the good, but a growing minority wants to build towards a general strike.

If the general strike happens, it would be well for progressives in the US to follow how it was put together. If there are lessons to be taught, let’s learn them so we know what to expect should the same actions be needed here in the US!

Germany

More than 30,000 German engineering workers took part in “warning strikes” at the start of this week in support of an 8 percent pay demand.

Even in Merkel’s Germany, the workers are beginning to become more active. A strong workers’ movement in Germany paves the road for strong workers’ movements throughout Europe. Imagine a united European workers’ movement standing up the the bureaucrats in Brusels!

Companies targeted by the giant IG Metall union included engineering giant Siemens and car maker Volkswagen. The union branded a below inflation offer for its 3.6 million members a “provocation”.

As always, it’s the bottom line increases that the bosses are worried about.  So their workers lose purchasing power to inflation?  What are workers, other than the ones who do the actual jobs? (ooops)

One of the ways to fight the bosses, and we know that the power structures of the duoparty aren’t going to do it, is for workers to demand their fair share of the economic pie.  With governements around the world finding, quite liteally, trillions of dollars to bailout the bosses, it’s time for the workers to get in on the largess as well.  Keep an eye on the struggles of the workers agains the all powerful EU bureaucrats and the bosses.  They’re showing the way for workers around the world, including the US!

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