The Guardian is providing live updates regarding the “Day of Action and Solidarity” across Europe, with video and lots of photos.
From the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC):
… The aim of this European day of action and solidarity is to call upon Europe’s leaders to demonstrate their determination to really get to grips with the deterioration in employment and to respond to the growing social anxiety felt by Europe’s citizens. Austerity is a total dead end, and must be abandoned. Social protection and wages can no longer be sacrificed. This is a social emergency, and it is time to listen to what the citizens and workers have to say, and to change course.
At The Guardian, by Graeme Wearden:
The European Day of Action and Solidarity is organised by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), with the slogan: ‘For Jobs and Solidarity in Europe. No to Austerity.’
ETUC has issued a declaration in which it warns that austerity is:
‘ … dragging Europe into economic stagnation, indeed recession, as well as the
continuing dismantling of the European social model.
These measures, far from reestablishing confidence, only serve to worsen imbalances and foster injustice.’
Billed as the largest ever coordinated actions by European workers, participants are demanding an end to the tax increases and spending cuts. The European Trades Union Convention provided alternative proposals, including (via The Guardian):
Economic governance at the service of sustainable growth and quality jobs,
Economic and social justice through redistribution policies, taxation and social protection, …
An ambitious European industrial policy steered towards a green, low-carbon economy and forward-looking sectors with employment opportunities and growth, …
A more intense fight against social and wage dumping, …
A determined effort to fight tax evasion and fraud,
Respect for collective bargaining and social dialogue,
Respect for fundamental social and trade union rights. …
At Time, Michael Levitin asks what impact the strike could have on policymakers, who will meet November 22 – 23.
It is potentially a turning point in the debate over austerity which has pitted Europe’s banking class against its citizens; it may also set up wider, more energized protests ahead. But, ‘it’s very unlikely that it will overturn the general direction in which we’re moving,’ says Zuleeg of the European Policy Centre, although ‘it might signal to leaders that there are other things they must take into consideration, like unemployment.’
A wise wakeup, suggests Garzón of Spain. Because ‘it’s a beginning of mobilizations,’ he says. ‘it’s not an end.’
(European Day of Action and Solidarity Map via ETUC)