Some 45,000 people rallied in the Irish capital, Dublin, last Saturday in support of a nurses’ campaign for better pay.
Over 40,000 members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and Psychiatric Nurses Association began a three-day strike on Tuesday of this week.
Nurses and midwives are underpaid and understaffed, meaning they cannot safely do their jobs. They are demanding a 12 percent pay rise.
Nurses told the crowd they had been overwhelmed by public support during their strike in recent weeks.
Opposition in Italy hits streets
Up to 200,000 trade unionists and their supporters demonstrated in Rome last Saturday. It was the biggest union protest in Italy in four years.
Holding banners with slogans such as, “A future for work,” demonstrators called for a massive government investment programme.
It was the first major mobilisation against the coalition government of the far right League party and the populist Five Star Movement.
Unions did not take well to a meeting between Five Star Movement chief Luigi Di Maio and members of the “Yellow Vests” protest in France.
The encounter caused an uproar between French and Italian diplomats.
Head of Italy’s CGIL union Maurizio Landini said, “It is unusual, to say the least, that a deputy prime minister finds the time to meet opponents of the government in a neighbouring country but doesn’t have the time to meet with the opposition in his own country.”
US massacres Afghan civilians
US airstrikes in Afghanistan killed as many as 21 civilians last weekend.
They were reported to have been killed by two airstrikes in Helmand between Friday night and Saturday morning. The youngest victim is said to be a three year old child, shot by helicopter gunfire.
Afghan politician Mohammad Hashim Alkozai said US forces killed 13 people in one airstrike and eight more in a later one.
A US military spokesperson confirmed it had carried out airstrikes.
Well over 31,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since the US invaded in 2001.