Demonstrations against austerity measures continue across Europe and the United Kingdom, including plans by the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) for a general strike at the beginning of 2013. The exact date of the civil action will be decided in a vote by its members on the 11th December.
Budget cuts being made by governments around Europe have provoked a barrage of criticism and mass protests across the continent. Various trade unions have organised protests to fight against these policies, calling them unfair and damaging to citizens.
Cuts signify raising taxes, slashing salaries, and a reduction of public services, and although defended by the government, some economic experts see more benefit in investment and encouraging consumption to foster higher internal production to stop unemployment figures rising.
A UK-wide general strike lasting 24 hours on the 20th October, saw more than 150,000 people attend demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Belfast. In Portugal, Spain and Greece, some of the countries worst affected by the cuts, held protests on the 14th November, and Holland, Belgium, France and Italy have also had protests rejecting government cuts and supporting workers.
The atmosphere of discontent is felt in the UK too, with the NSSN scheduling a vote for the 11th December, where members will meet to decide the date on which their 24-hour general strike will take place – likely to be within the first few months of the new year.
The vote will take place at the Trade’s Union Congress’s headquarters and seeks to reinforce UK citizens’ social opposition to the planned cuts and demand a change of direction in the government’s decisions.
11th December 2012, 9.30am-1.30pm, TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 31S. More information can be found here.
(Translated by Rachel Eadie – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).