As usual – Government(s) and their puppets in the mainstream media concentrate on a small fraction of protesters that use violence during legitimate demonstrations instead of addressing real issues. Corrupt governments find it much easier to deal with ordinary workers and pensioners than with multinational corporations stealing trillions of dollars by avoiding to pay their taxes.
The only thing that governments will achieve is weakening their own position and position of their political parties mascarading as “center left” or “center right” and serving multinational corporations. Another very obvious tactic is that any political party willing to address the real issues is immediately labeled by governments and their serving mainstream media as “radical” be it “left” or “right”. This is very old propaganda tool and Stalin would be very proud of the way western governments and media are using it.
Eurasia News Online
Belgian riot police deployed water cannons to disperse a major anti-austerity demonstration attended by tens of thousands of people in central Brussels. At least two policemen and several protesters have been injured.
Initially peaceful the rally that gathered some 60,000 people turned violent after a group of around 100 masked activists broke away from the main rally and started throwing objects at police and vandalizing publicity boards near Brussels South Station. Clashes broke out and police intervened using water cannons and – reportedly – tear gas. Reports say at least 10 people have been arrested so far.
The demonstration was called by the workers’ and trade unions under the slogan “enough is enough” to protest against what they dub “antisocial” government policies, which cut into the foundations of the country’s welfare system. Unions denounce budget cuts in public services and education, lack of jobs and the absence of social dialogue.
“We have had more than enough of the constant attacks of the government and employers on workers’ money and their rights,” the protesters’ manifesto states.
Lode Vanoost, a former deputy speaker of the Belgian parliament, further explained to RT the controversies in the proposed labor legislation.
“[Under] the new law the government has proposed to abolish the 38-hour working week, which is an accomplishment of the social struggle not just of Belgium, but of the whole of Europe. They want to abolish it and make it [the employer’s right to decide] how many hours a person is supposed to work every week,” Vanoost says, calling the new law “a symbolic thing which attacks the social rights of people in general.”
He goes on to say that under the new law people will have to work longer hours for less pay, and will be “without the assurance of a decent working contract, [as] one of the things the government wants to do is abolish the permanent working contract, so they [the workers] don’t have any certainty about their future.”
France’s prime minister urged union leaders on Thursday to call off protests against reforms to labor laws, saying turnout was waning but violence mounting as some people were hijacking legitimate protests to attack police.
“Union leaders need to live up to their responsibilities,” Manuel Valls said in a radio interview as fresh demonstrations drew hundreds of thousands of people.
“If rioters turn up at each and every protest it’s time to ask whether some of these protests are worth it.”
The government says about 1,300 arrests have been made during weeks of protests which have been joined by a youth movement called Nuit Debout (Night Rising). More than 300 police have been hurt and protesters have complained of injuries sustained in seemingly isolated cases of police brutality.
President Francois Hollande has said he will not withdraw plans to reform labor laws to make hiring and firing easier, which he says will encourage firms to recruit and combat an unemployment rate above 10 percent.
Truck drivers continued to blockade strategic parts of the road network on Thursday and train services were reduced by more than 50 percent by a second straight day of strikes.
Asked whether some protests could be broken up by police, Valls said attempts to cut off oil refineries and food supply depots could not be tolerated for much longer.