Last week the major trade unions of Spain called for a general strike against austerity on November 14. This happened to be the same day that labor unions in Greece and Portugal are also organizing general strikes against austerity. This is the first ever joint general strike in Iberian neighbors Spain and Portugal.
This in itself is significant. But it doesn't stop there.
With more than two weeks still to go, this day of general strike and protest might get much larger.
Apparently, union federations in France and Italy are considering the idea as well.One thing is for certain: millions of people will be out striking and protesting on November 14 in Europe.
Most of us have gotten used to protest and strike news out of Europe, so you might not have noticed that the protest movement in Europe has picked up momentum recently. For instance, here is a list from just the past month.
October 21: 100,000 march in London to protest government “cuts.” It’s important to note, though, that the British government isn’t cutting spending; it’s slowing the rate at which spending increases.This is hardly a complete list. For example, a quick Google search revealed a protest in Belfast against austerity and protest in Brussels against rising inequality.
October 20: Tens of thousands protest austerity measures in Rome.
October 18: 70,000 march in Athens to protest wage and pension cuts. A small group attack police with stones and petrol bombs. A general strike shuts down public services, schools, hospital and shops and disrupts flights and public transportation.
October 15: Two thousand demonstrators protest and start a fire outside Portugal’s parliament building, the evening after the government announces its 2013 draft budget.
October 13: Thousands protests cuts to cultural projects in Lisbon. Thousands of trade unionists also march to Parliament to protest austerity measures. Two thousand march in Madrid to protest austerity measures.
October 9: Tens of thousands take part in the first nationwide protests since Franςois Hollande became French president. Police disperse protests with tear gas as they try to break into a psa Peugeot Citroen plant. In Athens, tens of thousands protest as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits. Some dress up as Nazis and others throw stones at the police.
October 7: Tens of thousands protest spending cuts in 56 Spanish cities. Madrid is the focal point, with 20,000 protestors.
October 4: Transportation strikes in Portugal stop trains, underground rail and buses after the government announces tax increases. Shipyard workers in Greece, who are behind on pay, break into the Ministry of Defense grounds. Hundreds of farmers try to drive their tractors onto Crete’s airport.
October 3: Dozens of Greek parents hand their children to tax officials to protest the ending of tax relief measures for large families. (They did take their children home with them after the protest.)
September 30: Tens of thousands protest the European fiscal pact in Paris.
September 29: Tens of thousands protest in Spain and Portugal.
September 28: Up to 30,000 march in Rome to protest cuts. Health workers, trash men, professors and public employees, including staff at the Coliseum, go on strike.
September 26: Over 50,000 go on strike and protest in Athens. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “hundreds of hooded youths” attacked the police with petrol bombs. Spain’s protests continue.
September 25: Thousands of protestors surround the Spanish parliament building. It takes 1,400 police officers to fight them off.
Personally I don't see a reason why this shouldn't become a worldwide general strike and protest. Their struggle is our struggle too.