#OccupyPiazzaAffari protesters today in Milan
Today, just days after a General Strike against austerity in Spain, protesters are again taking to the streets in Europe. In a press release, organizers say, ¨there will be simultaneous demonstrations, rallies and assemblies in many European cities. Protests have been organized by anti-capitalist groups and libertarian grassroots unions from all over Europe. The initiative is labeled M31 – European Day of Action against Capitalism. Members of M31 want to send a clear signal against current austerity policies and authoritarian labour reforms by national governments and the Troika (European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) on the backs of wageworkers, migrants and the unemployed.¨ Occupiers from Union Square, New York to Business Square in Milan and elsewhere in Europe are joining the initiative toward our shared goal of challenging economic inequality and fighting for real democracy.
Events are planned in Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Slovania, Croatia, and Greece. In solidarity with M31, anti-capitalist groups within Occupy Wall Street will hold a rally in New York City. Parallel to M31, anti-capitalist groups in Moscow and in many cities of the United Kingdom will take to the streets against neoliberal labour reform. Check our M31 – What’s going on? page.
To stay up-to-date during tomorrow’s day of action, check Twitter: @m31dayofaction& #m31 or #31m
This is only a start – as we said in our Call for Action: “Simultaneous demonstrations in many European countries are more than just a signal of solidarity. They’re already sparking transnational discussion and cooperation. We invite all emancipatory initiatives to join this process. We strive to grow independent of official institutions, and are prepared for a persistent struggle. The crisis may manifest in varying ways in different countries, but we all share a common goal: We don’t want to save capitalism, we want to overcome it. We oppose nationalism. It is crucial to fight against the continued erosion of social standards, but we need to aim higher. We want to get rid of the fatal constraints of capitalism and its political institutions. That’s the only way the widespread demand for ‘real democracy’ can be fulfilled.“
Posted 2 days ago on March 29, 2012, 9:17 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Across Spain today, the 99% are rising together in a national General Strike in opposition to the government’s pro-business labor reforms and funding cuts to education and other services. In a country where over half of young people are already unemployed, these austerity measures – created solely to appease un-elected European Union bureaucracies and used to protect the interests of powerful international banks and wealthy investors – would demolish decades of hard-won labor rights by making it easier for companies to lay off employees and unilaterally cut wages.
But, like their counterparts in Greece, the Spanish 99% are not responsible for the financial crisis. And they refuse to see their rights stolen to line the pockets of the very banks and institutions who did cause the economic system to collapse – the people who run it: the 1%. Today, the people of Spain are fighting back: across the country, workers left factories and picketed markets, protesters blocked roads, TV stations were forced off-air, flights were cancelled, and train stations closed. The Spanish state has sent in riot police to attack protesters. Only minutes after midnight and the start of the strike, dozens of people had already been arrested.
Tomorrow, Spain’s government is expected to release a new budget that will cut billions of euros in measures supposedly designed to stim Spanish debt and ¨encourage investors.¨ This is the same rhetoric used to excuse the unfair cuts to education, infrastructure, and safety net programs here in North America. It is the same misleading language used by corrupt politicians across the world who, working for the bankers and investors who pay for their election, ram through massively unpopular bailouts and austerity measures that only hurt the 99% to benefit the 1%.
But, as we have seen from Wisconsin to Wall Street, the people are not sitting idly by to watch their rights and livelihoods be stolen by the ultra-wealthy. The Spanish Acampadas/indignados movement helped inspire us to Occupy. Today, we send them our support. And on May 1st, we will show our solidarity with Spanish protesters, and all others across the world, by taking the streets. Unfortunately, U.S. laws make it illegal for unions to endorse a General Strike like the one happening today in Spain. But we, working with our partners in labor and immigrant rights organizations, can.
This May Day: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking – TAKE THE STREETS! Here are six ways you can get ready for the May Day General Strike.