October 20th will see a major demonstration called by the TUC against austerity. A Future That Works will involve people marching in London appealing for a different set of economic policies. It’s likely that trade union activists will be marching alongside people from community groups, self organised groupings such as UK Uncut, anarchists and a vast number of people not aligned to any particular group.
Anti-austerity campaigning is the news story linking actions across continents but you wouldn’t guess that from watching the evening news. It’s as if these things are all going on in isolation. Well we know they’re not. Actually there’s a very good article in The Guardian by Suzanne Moore on this which is worth a read.
Two days ago thousands of people surrounded the Spanish Congress building in Madrid. The Indignado protests which started in the country following the Arab Spring a year and half ago were themselves a precursor to Occupy Wall Street and the UK’s Occupy the London Stock Exchange. Anyone who thought that Occupy had gone away can think again; the movement has morphed and continues to do so. Where it ends and what it achieves is yet to be determined despite the mainstream media having already written its history. Clearly as Spain heads towards further austerity measures we can expect more protests.
Then yesterday there was a general strike in Greece called by a number of trade unions, including ADEDY the sister union to PCS representing civil servants. The Greece Solidarity Campaign called for a demonstration in solidarity with the strike outside the Greek Embassy in London. The GSC has only recently formed and is growing fast as Greece itself continues to go through austerity measures forced on the people by the Troika (The European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund). I’ve included a couple of photos from the London demonstration – obviously not quite so heated as the scenes from Athens.
There have been some amazing images from the last two days. The first I’d like to highlight is from Madrid where a restaurant owner allowed protesters to take sanctuary and then protected them from the police. It serves as a powerful reminder that the protests against global capitalism are inclusive and have a wide support base.
Finally, as an animal lover I’ve really enjoyed seeing Sausage the riot dog whilst observing the Athens demonstrations. What a hero of the struggle. The fact that this dog seems to consistently turn up on the side of the protesters is fascinating. I wonder why he hates the police so much.
All roads lead to October 20th and A Future That Works. Austerity is harming us but we can take steps to change the situation. Get involved and come along!
- Los Indignados (carmelavzabala.wordpress.com)