Capitalism isn’t working—that’s the verdict of millions of ordinary people around the globe who are taking to the streets to protest.
The system has not looked so fragile for decades. The crisis is ripping through the world’s economies.
Bosses and politicians want us to believe that austerity is the only alternative. But no one is falling for this line.
Instead the full force of people’s anger, whether a student in Chile, a nurse in Britain or a teacher in Greece, is directed against the bankers and often against the capitalist system itself.
This month will see a general strike in Portugal. In Britain workers are voting on joining a three million strong public sector strike on 30 November. Greece has already seen 15 general strikes—and its government is now on the rocks.
The impact of austerity and the global economic crisis has been severe. Unemployment has rocketed. This is most extreme among young people—48 percent are jobless in Spain, 43 percent in Greece and 29 percent in Italy.
No wonder the International Labour Organisation reported this week that “the risk of social unrest has increased significantly” since last year.
In the US, the very heart of the beast, resistance from below has exploded across the country. The Occupy movement has taken root and, significantly, it is now making links with the power of the organised working class.
Occupy Oakland in California has put out a call for an city-wide general strike. It came after Scott Olson, a US marine veteran, was seriously injured by a police-fired tear gas canister during a violent police raid on the camp.
The Oakland strike was set to take place on Wednesday of this week.
This new spirit of struggle knows no borders. Those at the top thought they could make us take all the pain. But now they are feeling our rage.